Skip to main content

Full text of "Wisconsin magazine of history"

See other formats



1920-192 ' 

VOL. IV 1^0^ 





tendent, MILO M. QUAIFE, Editor 




Major General William G. Haan — The Division as a Fighting 
Machine: What it is, How Prepared from its Inception to its 
Action in Battle, and its Troubles and Pleasures in its 
Hardest Day's Fight, from the Viewpoint of the Division 

Commander 3 

Joseph Schafer — Muscoda, 1763-1856 27 

Julius E. Olson — Lincoln in Wisconsin 44 

W. A. Titus— Historic Spots in Wisconsin 55, 196, 281 

Joseph Schafer — The Wisconsin Domesday Book 61 

James H. McManus — The Trails of, Northern Wisconsin 125 

Theodore C. Blegen — Colonel Hans Christian Heg 140 

M. M. QuAiFE — The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 166 

Joseph Schafer — Co-operation between the State Historical 

Society and Local Societies 200 

Colonel Arthur L. Conger — The Military Education of Grant 

as General 239 

Deborah Beaumont Martin — Doctor William Beaumont: His 

Life in Mackinac and Wisconsin, 1820-1834 263 

William F. Whyte — Chronicles of Early Watertown 287 

Carl R. Fish — An Historical Museum 315 

General Charles King — Rufus King: Soldier, Editor, and 

Statesman 371 

Laurence M. Larson — The Kensington Rune Stone 382 

John S. Roeseler — The Evangelical Association on Lomira Cir- 
cuit 392 

Louise P. Kellogg — The First Missionary in Wisconsin 417 

W. A. Titus — Two Graves in a Rural Wisconsin Cemetery 426 


Letters of a Badger Boy in Blue (Chauncey H. Cooke) 
75, 208, 322, 431 


More Light on Jonathan Carver; The United States and 
Japan; Napoleonic Soldiers in Wisconsin; Benjamin Hyde 
Edgerton : Wisconsin Pioneer; James Otto Lewis 345 


The Career of Moses Meeker; Oldest House in the Middle 
West; Early Lumbering and Lumber Kings of Wisconsin; 
Identifying an Early Postscript; Agricultural Fairs in 
Wisconsin; Wisconsin Histories for a Newspaper Office; 
The Significance of Manitowoc 101 

The Old Church on Madeline Island; The Name of Mondovi; 
Naming a Marathon County Farm; Tennessee Prisoners 
at Fort Mackinac 218 


The Trails from Lake Pepin to the Chippewa 108 

Recollections of the Sioux Massacre of 1862 222 

More Napoleonic Soldiers in Wisconsin; Those Original 

Parchment Title Deeds 459 


The Society and the State 110, 224, 359, 460 

Some Wisconsin Public Documents 365 

The Wider Field 465 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 

Photo by Clinedinst 






tendent, MILO M. QUAIFE, Editor 



The Division as a Fighting Machine 

Major General William G, Haan 3 

MuscoDA, 1763-1856 . . 
Lincoln in Wisconsin 

. Joseph S chafer 27 
Julius E. Olson 44 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin W, A, Titus 55 


A Badger Boy in Blue : The Letters of Chaunoey 

The Question Box: 

The Career of Moses Meeker; Oldest House in the 
Middle West; Early Lumbering and Lumber 
Kings of Wisconsin; Identifying an Early Post- 
script ; Agricultural Fairs in Wisconsin ; Wisconsin 
Histories for a Newspaper Office; The Significance 
of Manitowoc 101 

Communications : 

The Trails from Lake Pepin to the Chippewa 108 

Survey of Historical Activities: 

The Society and the State 110 

The Wisconsin Domesday Book 

Joseph Shafer 61 

H. Cooke 


The Society as a body is not responsible for statements or opinions advanced 
in the following pages by contributors. 




Major General William G. Ha an 

It is my purpose to show in this paper, very briefly, the 
outKnes of a division organization, the theory of its training, 
in general what it is composed of; to present a very brief 
outUne, also, of its early experience in training and in action; 
and finally to give as accurate a picture as I can of its 
supreme test when after many days' fighting it was called 
upon to do in a single thrust a task which in its overpowering 
magnitude well-nigh unnerved its commander. 

This day was the fourteenth of October, 1918, when the 
Thirty-second Division was called upon to assault, capture, 
and pass over the last organized line of the famous Hinden- 
burg position, in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. This line 
included the high and strongly held position south of the 
village of Romagne and extended through the heights known 
as La Cote Dame Marie. A description of this position will 
be given later. 

First, then, let us go back and look for a moment upon 
the Division as it was organized from the troops of Wiscon- 
sin and Michigan in Texas, where many new units had to be 
formed and where none of the old units fitted. A complete 
reorganization had to be made. All of this was accomplished 
with the loyal support of the senior officers and subordinate 
officers, who must have felt very keenly seeing their old 
organizations with which they had been serving for many 
months thus disrupted for the purpose of making a fighting 
unit on modern lines. To the credit of all these officers and 


Major General William G, Haan 

men let it be said that no complaint ever reached the 
Division Commander; let it be further said that the brigade 
commanders and regimental commanders with whom I had 
occasion daily to confer showed only a spirit of wishing to 
help make a fighting unit. 

We shall pass by these early stages, merely remarking 
that while the reorganization was going on the training did 
not stop. The full seven hours of training went on daily on 
the drill grounds, on the ranges, on the bayonet courses, in 
the schools, and everywhere, while in the office the staff was 
patiently working on reorganization under a policy adopted 
by the Division Commander after full consultation and 
agreement with the brigade commanders. 

One word here in regard to training : From the beginning 
it was one of my principle functions to keep before the eyes 
and minds of the officers and men the fact that the Thirty- 
second Division was going to fight; that all of our training 
must be conducted with that end constantly in view; and 
that only such officers should accompany the Division to 
France as by their physical fitness, their age, and their apti- 
tude for commanding men in battle were considered fully 
qualified for leading against the enemy the splendid men of 
which the Division was to be composed. 

For many years, in fact since its organization, the only 
kind of fighting for which the United States Army has been 
trained is the offensive. We have always believed that it is 
only offensive action that can win battles and wars; and 
under that theory it became the duty of the Division Com- 
mander at these early stages to visualize his division in 
future offensive action, in order that he could adopt a proper 
doctrine of training so as to instill into each man and each 
element which were finally to make up his fighting unit that 
kind of training which would make it of most use in a fight- 
ing machine in which offensive tactics were the only tactics 
that were to be used in battle. 

The Division as a Fighting Machine 


Such visualization by the particular Division Com- 
mander in reference was a rather difficult procedure, as 
will be realized when it is remembered that the largest force 
he had ever commanded was only slightly in excess of the 
number of commissioned officers he now had in his com- 
mand — still more difficult when it is remembered that the 
methods of warfare, the tactical operations that had taken 
place in this war had given somewhat of a setback to our 
theory of training for the offensive only. The difficulties of 
this situation were somewhat increased when we read in the 
first paragraph of training instructions issued from the 
Army War College the following expression: "Trench war- 
fare is of paramount importance." Fortunately, before a 
system of trenches could be completed and much instruc- 
tion given this particular paragraph in the War Department 
instructions was revoked, and we went back to our original 
theory of offensive tactics only. In this connection it may 
be interesting to note that as late as June 16, 1918, the 
Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Armies issued elaborate 
instructions to all the allied armies as to how defensive 
warfare should be carried on to meet German attacks. I 
will not quote here all of that paper, but merely the last few 
sections, which show how the French Commander-in-Chief 
was thinking at that late date. He says : 

In a word our command can prepare a defensive battle corresponding 
to the offensive method practiced by the enemy. 

This method above all aims at disorganizing the command, not 
allowing it time to make judicious dispositions. The method will be 
outwitted if our command has laid out for itself in advance a line of 
rational conduct, if it has drawn up a program that is capable of as 
sure and rapid execution as possible, and if it then has a strength of 
purpose to hold to it by directing the battle at every moment. 

This mastery of the command is communicated instantly to the 
troops. It is the challenge for the execution by these troops of the most 
difficult mission. 

(Signed) F. Forn 
This was on June 16 when our Division was in the front 
line near Belfort — the very day on whicli I took over the 


Major General William G, Haan 

active tactical command of my own Division and the Ninth 
French Division. This was the first time an American 
officer had the honor of commanding a French Division. 

Aside from what is above quoted, some elaborate in- 
structions are contained in 'General Foch's paper showing 
that the front line elements, the outpost troops, must stay 
in their places and fight to the last man, with a view to 
breaking up the enemy's advancing lines so that our battle 
positions or the second line would be able to hold them 
completely. In transmitting these instructions to division 
and higher commanders, General Pershing added the follow- 
ing postscript to these instructions: — 

Commanders will show by their attitude that they give full, loyal, 
and sympathetic support to the execution of the above instructions of 
the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Armies. 

It is very evident that General Pershing, however, was 
not satisfied with this defensive attitude, for on July 11, 1918, 
he issued the following, both papers reaching division com- 
manders on the same day: — 


1. The ultimate purpose of the American Army is the decisive 
defeat of the enemy, and not the mere passive result of the pure defen- 
sive. To realize this ultimate purpose, it is essential that every officer 
and soldier of these forces be imbued with the offensive spirit. 

Then General Pershing goes on to describe somewhat in 
detail the methods of preparing the troops in morale and in 
training. In fact, he lays down the doctrine of training to 
get the troops not only instructed correctly for the kind of 
fighting that he believes in, but to get them into the right 
frame of mind, the right kind of morale, the right kind of 
esprit de corps. These latter we found very important con- 
siderations during battle. 

Perhaps these quotations may throw a little further light 
upon the statements made above that from the very begin- 
ning of training the commander must visualize the kind of 

The Division as a Fighting Machine 


fighting his division will be called upon to do; otherwise 
he cannot adopt the correct ''doctrine" of training the vari- 
ous elements. 

One must now keep in mind, that for the next seven or 
eight months there was daily work from morning until 
night under the guidance of the same idea, namely, to pro- 
duce from a conglomeration of men, animals, and material 
a machine which would carry out in battle the single idea of 
a single mind, itself controlled by instructions from the 
higher command, making this smallest fighting unit of all 
arms, the division, in itself work as a single element in 
conjunction with hundreds of other similar elements that 
made up the great Allied Army, which again was finally 
controlled by a single mind. It is the ultimate in organiza- 
tion to make all elements of an army composed of some 
twenty different nationalities speaking different languages — 
some seven million men operating on half a dozen separate 
fronts — respond to the will of a single commander. This 
power of organization and the putting of it into effect won 
the war. 

After four months of work and training and study and 
organization and reorganization in Texas it was a pleasure 
to find that when the order to move came the officers of the 
various grades in the Division had grasped many of their 
functions, and it was no longer necessary to lead them about 
and tell them what to do. They began to understand what 
was meant by orders. Nothing further need be said in re- 
gard to this first move of the Thirty-second Division than 
that each unit was ready to entrain at the place and time set 
by the schedule for the trains. Unfortunately, the train 
crews had not had the same kind of training and, in conse- 
quence, were never at the appointed place at the designated 
hour; and our Division straggled from Texas to New York, 
a glowing example of the inefficiency of our raih'oad service, 
of the very efficiency of which we had heard so much. 


Major General William G. Haan 

From twenty-four to forty-eight hours late upon arrival 
was the rule and not the exception for trains in New York; 
they were all late, without any exceptions. 

A complete division is difficult to visualize. One must 
see it with all its armament, troops, and trains to begin to 
understand — infantry brigades, machine gun battalions, 
artillery, engineers, trench mortar battery, signal corps, 
ammunition trains, supply trains, sanitary trains, mobile 
repair shops, medical corps troops, field hospitals, ambu- 
lance companies, brigade staffs, division staff. In personnel 
28,000, animals some 9,000, motor cars, motor trucks, tanks, 
balloons, air planes, and last but not least, the military 
police. In a single close column — men marching in column of 
fours well closed up — the division is now more than thirty 
miles long. It was a liberal education in military organiza- 
tion thus to see the First Division upon its return parade 
in New York and Washington with all its transportation, 
men, animals, and full campaign equipment. The division 
headquarters is the nerve center of the entire organization. 
It is the business center; and when the division has been 
trained for battle it promptly responds to the plans of its 
commander, promulgated in orders through the staff and 
system of communication. 

It is not necessary to dwell upon the mortifying fact that 
upon our arrival in France early in March we were made 
temporarily a replacement and labor division, because we 
got out of that; and right glad were all the men in the 
Division when they heard that we were going to the front. 
Let us pass over this period merely by saying that as soon 
as we got our men together again our training started anew, 
and when we got on the front line our training continued 
with greater speed and with greater effectiveness, but always 
with the offensive spirit. The doctrine of training had that 
objective in view all the time. 

The Division as a Fighting Machine 


While the Division was in Texas in training, we worked 
under our old staff system. Upon arrival in France, our 
staff officers were gradually taken away from us and new 
staff officers assigned. These new officers had had some 
training in the American Staff College in France, where they 
were studying the handling, equipping, and fighting of 
larger bodies of men than the world had ever before known. 
Gradually the staff work was taken over by the proper 
staff officers, thereby relieving the Commander in a 
greater and greater measure from details and permitting 
him to give more attention to his front line work and the 
combat preparation of his combat troops for front line work. 
I have estimated that while in Texas seventy per cent of 
the time of the Division Commander was required for 
administrative work. In June, six months later, when the 
Division was in the front line near Belfort, only ten per 
cent of his time was necessary for administrative work; and 
when finally the Division went into the big fight north of 
the Marne only about five per cent of his time was neces- 
sary; yet the functioning of everything was greatly superior 
to what it had been before. 

When on the twenty -ninth of July our Division relieved 
the Third Division, then for the first time it became the 
duty of the Division Commander to make a plan of battle 
and of his staff to prepare the battle orders. Here, then, 
was to be put to the test whether or not our doctrine of 
training for fighting on the offensive had been correct — 
whether we were going to take the offensive in battle, or 
whether we were to remain on the defensive. Please note 
that the twenty-ninth of July, 1918, was only eighteen 
days after General Pershing issued his famous "Instruc- 
tions on Tactical Disposition," a part of which I have 
already quoted. I may remark here that while it was 
indeed gratifying to receive from our own Commander- 
in-Chief these instructions, they made no change in the 

10 Major General William G, Haan 

training that was going on in the Thirty-second Division. 
That Division had trained for offensive combat from the 
day it arrived in Camp MacArthur at Waco, Texas. It 
continued that kind of training during all of its training 
periods and it continued that kind of fighting up to Novem- 
ber 11, when the fighting stopped. 

I cannot say that I felt any anxiety whatever as to the 
outcome of the first battle of the Thirty-second Division. 
It was not a very great undertaking, although our gallant 
Third Division had made several attempts to take the 
position and each time had to withdraw. It was too ex- 
hausted after its heavy fighting in driving the enemy across 
the Marne and up the hills to the north of the river to make - 
another great effort ; but our fresh troops went forward as at 
drill, and never for a moment did I think that they would 
do anything else — never for a moment did it occur to me 
that they might fail in this first attempt. I felt sure that 
the kind of training they had received and the kind of men 
they were would guarantee success in the task that was 
given them. In this they fully justified every expectation. 
They took their objective by assault, organized it, and held 
it until they got orders to proceed to the next objective, and 
so on, and so on, and so on continuously until eight days 
later they had driven the enemy back nineteen kilometers 
and had captured the famous stronghold and railhead of 
Fismes and driven the enemy across the Vesle River. Then 
the Division was withdrawn and given a short period of ten 
days for reorganization and further training. Then it was 
given another task. Everything began to move more 
smoothly, and orders given by the Division Commander 
were immediately visualized by the corresponding move- 
ment of the elements of the Division called upon to move. 
Everywhere was order, and everything was done in an 
orderly manner; it was businesslike. The Division Com- 
mander's office, though not as a rule in a comfortable place. 

The Division as a Fighting Machine 11 

was always characterized by a business spirit and business- 
like transaction of business. The Chief of Staff and his 
assistants had their offices — if they may be called offices — 
arranged always in an orderly manner; electric lights 
appeared as regularly as darkness came. And so the Division 
was developed into a fighting machine composed of all the 
elements necessary for carrying on combat. 

After the Division had completed its second great battle 
with General Mangin's Tenth Army with the capture of 
Juvigny, a key point in the line, and approximately 1,000 
prisoners and much material in the way of guns and ammu- 
nition, it was taken away and sent to our great First Army, 
with which it was finally to fight its greatest and last battle. 

I fear it will be a difficult thing to give a description that 
will be anything like a reasonably accurate picture of what 
confronted the Division when it went into the front line 
near the famous town of Montfaucon, where the German 
Crown Prince had had his observation point to observe the 
German Army in its fighting and attacks on the Verdun 
positions. It is impossible to describe these conditions to 
one who has not been over the ground, I think, and make 
him realize quite what the situation there was. A Con- 
gressman traveling through these woods in attempting to 
describe what he saw remarked as follows : 

I saw such spots where in the little forest American boys laid down 
their priceless lives — a little forest filled with tangled vines, and fallen 
trees, and jagged rocks, and little hidden fissures, and tangled vines, 
and fallen trees, and tumbled, jumbled saplings, and deep trenches, and 
concrete peepholes, and German dugouts, and interlaced branches — so 
that when we had followed the Captain who was our escort and who 
himself had fought in that fight — when we had followed him in and out, 
up and down, and over and under, I for one was utterly exhausted 
without any pack and without any burden of annnunition. 

Let me say here that this Congressman passed through this 
little wood with a guide, not under fire, in the daytime, and 
at his leisure; let me say further that the Tliirty-socond 
Division passed through this wood on tlic niglit of Septoni- 


Major General William G. Haan 

ber 28 in a cold downpour of rain, in the darkest night 
that I have ever seen, or rather felt, at a time when the only 
road or trail through No Man's Land, some three miles 
wide and through these little woods, was completely blocked 
with stalled vehicles so that the men had to pick their way 
alongside of the road, over tangled wire, in mud, and under 
fire of the enemy's artillery. Yet there were no complaints. 
The Division had become a fighting unit; the Division Com- 
mander was personally leading his Division through these 
tangled, jumbled saplings and trenches and wire, himself 
having reconnoitered the previous day the trail by which 
he was to lead his Division during this famous night to the 
relief of the Thirty-seventh Division^ which had become 
exhausted and which had to be withdrawn from the line. 
The men marched all night with their 75-pound packs, 
arriving at the northern edge of the woods, a description 
of which has been attempted. At midnight I found the 
headquarters and the Commander of the Thirty-seventh 
Division and presented my orders for the relief of his Divi- 
sion. This was the first information he had that his Division 
was to be relieved, because metallic telephonic connection 
had been interrupted between his Division and the Corps 
Headquarters. The next day it continued to rain, and it 
continued to be cold, but, fortunately, it was also misty, so 
that during the daytime it was practicable to locate the 
elements of the Division we were to relieve; and it was also 
practicable during the daytime to relieve all but the front 
elements of the entire Division; during the early hours of 
the next night the remainder of the Division was relieved. 

Therefore, on the first of October our Division was again 
crouching for another offensive. Its front elements were 
again in contact with the enemy on a line running east and 
west a few hundred meters south of the village of Cierges, 
the same name as the first village that the Division captured 
in its first battle. The evening of October 1 found our line 

The Division as a Fighting Machine 


to the north of this Cierges No. 2 and the village in our 

I will not attempt a description of how the Division 
advanced from this initial position to its final jump-off line 
on the morning of October 14, except to say that every inch 
of this ground was fought over and fought for by the enemy, 
and that while the Division had no large pitched battles in 
gaining these five kilometers of ground, yet it had continu- 
ous fighting by most of its elements for a period of two 
weeks, during which our losses were approximately 4,000. 
It should be observed that this was mostly open ground and 
that the enemy was strongly intrenched on the heights to 
the south and west of Romagne, which was the position 
that had to be finally taken by assault. 

When we had reached within about two thousand yards of 
this position, or perhaps a little more, a combined effort of all 
the divisions in our immediate vicinity was made to advance 
the entire line and if possible carry the strong position — 
the Kriemhilde Stellung. For this very careful preparation 
had been made, a careful plan had been drawn up, and the 
orders for the battle most carefully prepared in detail. A 
chart graphically representing the instructions given was 
distributed with the order, and I have heard from all regi- 
mental commanders and many others to the effect that this 
chart was a great assistance to them in maneuvering their 
units in accordance with the plans of the Division Comman- 
der, as expressed in the battle orders. 

The advance was made as planned for a distance of about 
fifteen hundred meters — that is until the advance elements 
came practically in touch with the enemy's wire protecting 
the strong Kriemhilde line on the heights to the south- 
west of Romagne. In two places — one directly to the 
south of the village of Romagne and the other in the left 
center of the sector — did our troops succeed in penetrating 
this powerful position. The remainder of tlie line was held 


Major General William G, Haan 

up in front of the wire, and these penetrations had been so 
narrow and the forces going through so small that it was 
impossible for them to hold their positions ; in consequence 
of this they were withdrawn. 

I desire here for a moment to refer to the only serious 
error that was made during the entire fighting in transmit- 
ting information from the front line to the Division Com- 
mander. The battalion which had penetrated into the 
enemy's position in the left center of the sector sent word 
back that they had penetrated the enemy's line and had 
captured the strong position of La Cote Dame Marie. This 
position was the key point of the entire Kriemhilde line, 
which was the last organized and strongly -held line of the 
Hindenburg position. I had these reports briefly investi- 
gated and received confirmatory information to the effect 
that we occupied the key position, La Cote Dame Marie, 
and the entire trench position from that point to the right 
of the sector and I so reported to the higher command. It 
was mainly upon this information that the entire army 
received orders to attack along its whole front on the morn- 
ing of October 14. 

It was not until about noon of October 13, and after the 
order that a general attack would be made on the morning 
of the fourteenth had been received from the higher com- 
mand, that I ascertained the real truth about the position 
of my front line. You can imagine, therefore, the state of 
my mind when I learned the cold facts that we had not cap- 
tured the key position; that we did not occupy the strong 
position across the front of our sector which was covered by 
triple lines of barbed wire; that this position was still held 
by the enemy; and that our troops were still south of that 
position but close up to the wire. For just about five 
minutes, when the real facts became positively known to 
me — when the real facts had fully permeated my somewhat 
dazed brain that not only had I been misinformed but that I 

The Division as a Fighting Machine 


in turn had misinformed the higher command as to my 
position in such an important place and at such a critical 
time — for about five minutes I suffered the greatest depres- 
sion of my life. It was perhaps a fortunate circumstance 
that when I received this information I was alone except for 
my orderly, who was near by, and therefore I could not 
communicate any feelings of depression to my staff. When 
I had time to recover I called my Chief of Staflf and told 
him that since we did not have the position we would have 
to take it and that we had no time to lose. The next morn- 
ing the entire line was to advance in a great battle. Those 
instructions had already been received from the higher 
command. I made my plan — made it brief. I knew exactly 
how I wanted to attack the positions with the greatest 
possibility of success. After having completed that plan 
and having given some instructions to the Artillery Com- 
mander, I proceeded on a visit to my brigade and regimental 
commanders, leaving to my staff the preparation of the 
battle orders. I felt that now as never before, and perhaps 
as never again, would it be necessary to raise the morale of 
our troops to the very highest pitch, to make them believe 
that not only must the position be taken but that we must 
make them believe that we would take it — that we could 
take it; in fact, the offensive spirit had to be driven into the 
troops between noon and midnight of that day so that when 
the call came for them to advance at daylight the next 
morning nothing in front of them should stop them. 

I reached my brigade commanders, who had their 
headquarters close together — so close that in a minute I 
could call them together and have a conference. I told 
them what was in my mind in regard to taking the position — 
that it was not a question of whether we could or could not, 
but that we would take it the next morning, and no one 
must discuss it in any other sense; that we would take that 
position and nothing else would do; we would not only take 


Major General William G. Haan 

the position, but would go on beyond and keep on going; 
and that they must assist me in putting such an offensive 
spirit into our troops before midnight of that night that 
nothing should stop them the next morning. I think I was 
fortunate in that while I was talking to my brigade com- 
manders on that very point, General Summerall, the Corps 
Commander, who had been at my headquarters, and when 
he found that I had gone to see my brigade commanders 
had followed me, came into the conference as I was telling 
them what had to be done. His assistance in putting fight- 
ing spirit into the brigade commanders, their staffs, and 
the other officers that were there was very helpful. I think 
General Summerall has perhaps the power of inspiring men 
around him to a greater extent for battle than any other 
man I have known. I said a little while ago that for a few 
minutes I was probably more depressed than during any 
other period of my life. But when General Summerall got 
through talking, my spirits were jubilant; I no longer had a 
thought in my mind that we would not be successful; and 
the same idea could be seen permeating through all the 
officers who were present at that conference. It not only 
inspired them to believe that nothing could stop us, but 
it inspired them to tell their comrades the same thing and 
perhaps more — that the whole army was going forward and 
that nothing should stop the Thirty-second Division un- 
der any circumstances. And so the word went out; and the 
morale of the Division was raised to the highest pitch pos- 
sible. Perhaps it was better that the period was so short; 
it spurred everybody on with anxiety mingled with excite- 
ment. They knew that they did not have to wait long. 
Word went out before midnight that night just when we were 
going over the top, at least as far down as it could safely be 
passed; all platoon commanders were informed; they doubt- 
less told some of their most reliable noncommissioned 
officers. They knew how far the word could be passed 

The Division as a Fighting Machine 17 

among their own little units and still be safe from the enemy. 
All of this had been brought about by training and experi- 
ence. It was no longer necessary to say to a brigade com- 
mander, a regimental commander, or a battalion comman- 
der, or a company commander: "This information is 
confidential and must go no further." They had learned to 
know what information must be kept away from the very 
front elements. They had learned to take the initiative not 
only in fighting, but in thinking. They had learned the 
game of war in the front line. They had learned how to 
obey even though it be to go straight to their death. 

And now let us stop for a moment and take a look as 
well as we can at the position the Division was facing — the 
post of command, the Division Commander, the position of 
the brigade commanders, the positions of the artillery, the 
positions of the ammunition supply and the food supply, 
the positions of the dressing stations and the field hospitals, 
and the lines of communication whereby the Division was 
kept alive by the activities of the service of supply, the 
road control, the stragglers' posts, and First Aid stations. 
I think one is liable to overlook in a large measure the 
activities back of the line, the complexities of which are 
little understood outside of the quiet hard workers who 
had this in charge. Nothing but perfect staff organiza- 
tion and well-nigh perfect cooperation between all the 
branches of supply can keep a division going, much less an 

Standing on the heights of Montfaucon and looking to 
the north about five miles away could be clearly seen a well- 
defined ridge covered with forest towering some three 
hundred feet above and dominating the low intervening 
terrain, mostly open, rolling country, affording, apparently, 
little cover from view for advancing troops; cultivated 
fields without crops; small patches of scrub oak; several 
small low lying villages, huddled snugly in ravines with 


Major General William G, Haan 

their thin church steeples visible from all directions. On the 
evening of October 13 as I rode forward over this ground it 
looked from a distance almost peaceful, except for white 
puffs of smoke here and there indicating registration by 
the enemy artillery; but as I rode forward every ravine 
hidden from the view of the enemy's towering position 
showed activity. Guns were here and there in position; 
others were making ready for action; and as I moved further 
forward the surface of the ground which from a distance 
seemed calm and natural now showed a ghastly ruptured 
condition, torn and mangled by shells from the small pit of 
the 75 to the cellar-like craters made by the heaviest shells. 
Some of the craters were fifteen feet deep and thirty feet in 
diameter. The villages, which from a distance seemed still 
to have the semblance of habitation, were indeed but masses 
of ruins; among this tangled mass of frightful destruction 
were seen as if in peaceful slumber the dead bodies alike of 
friends and foes who had made the supreme sacrifice, each 
doubtless being driven by an irresistible force which he 
believed almost spiritual guidance. A sad commentary 
and a frightful indictment of the untamed selfishness of the 
present-day political leaders of mankind. 

The Division was now crouched for its last and greatest 
effort. Let us try to make a sort of mental picture of the 
Division as a living thing, a living organization, as it was 
now prepared to spring forward. Beginning then with 
what we call the front elements — including perhaps two 
thousand infantrymen and machine gunmen — these four 
battalions were side by side, each occupying an area in a 
line. The area of a battalion in this case was perhaps a 
thousand meters wide and a thousand to fifteen hundred 
meters deep. Over each of these areas was distributed a 
battalion — perhaps two companies, occupying the forward 
half, and two companies the rearward half; but as one 
looked at it, if that could be done, from the air and saw 

The Division as a Fighting Machine 


all the men, it would look as if they were more or less evenly 
distributed over the area shown, occupying the position 
behind a little rise, but never grouped. 

Let us go back through this Divisional area into the 
Divisional sector. It is about three miles wide at the front 
and extends back for a distance of more than ten miles to 
the railhead. As we go back through this area we find first, 
the second line of battalions — the support battalions nearly 
a mile in the rear of the first line. Then going back another 
mile or two we find the reserve battalions. Scattered 
among these we find groups of artillery ready for 
action or actually in action. We find first-aid stations, 
dressing stations, stragglers' posts under control of the mili- 
tary police, for picking up exhausted men, or men who have 
lost their way, or men who have been shell-shocked or 
temporarily deranged in their minds. These stragglers' 
posts collect them, give them hot food, and soon the men 
are again ready to go to the front. Here we find regimental 
command posts, brigade command posts, and under such 
cover as can be found, food depots, ammunition dumps, 
rolling kitchens, and a little further back we have the field 
hospitals and the Division Headquarters — the nerve center 
of the whole Division. As we pass across the area we run 
across many wires — insulated wires — some lying on the 
ground and some half in the air. These are the communica- 
tions — the nerves of the Division — carrying to the various 
elements and commands encouragements and frequently 
commendations of the Division Commander. Then as we 
go on we find great ammunition columns, supply columns, 
herds of horses carefully scattered on grazing ground. These 
are the great number of animals, perhaps, eight or nine 
thousand in the horse transportation of the Division. The 
guns are now in position and the horses are taken back as 
much out of artillery fire as possible and given an oppor- 
tunity to subsist themselves as much as possible on wliat 


Major General William G. Haan 

grass they can find. Then we see at every road crossing 
niiUtary pohce with bands on their arms, who have charge of 
traffic control to make sure that on one-way roads vehicles 
pass only in one direction. And scattered through the area 
from the front to the rear we find groups of signal corps men 
repairing wires — putting in additional nerves of the Divi- 
sion. We find from the very front to the rear engineer 
detachments repairing roads and bridges. We find scat- 
tered likewise through the whole area sanitary squads of 
medical men with litters to take care of the sick and 
wounded. We find a constant stream of wounded going to 
the rear in ambulances and we see desolation and destruc- 
tion everywhere, as has already been indicated. Picture then 
the men forming this Division about ready to make the 
great assault in cold and rainy October weather. These men 
had little clothing, no shelter, were covered from head to 
foot with mud, had been continuously in action under the 
enemy's heavy fire for two long weeks. Their comrades 
had melted away until now the companies were less than 
half strength. The losses among the officers were even 
greater; yet their Commander still believed them capable of 
a great effort. He called upon them for this supreme test; 
and as will shortly be seen they responded with irresistible 

It may be asked in passing why a Division is organized 
in such great depth. Primarily this is necessary to give 
great and continuous driving power. As the front line ele- 
ments melt away in battle the next succeeding elements 
take their places in the front and so on and so on. It is a 
sort of revolving machine where in turn each succeeding 
echelon passes over the front line and is thus able to give a 
new impetus to the forward movement of the great machine. 

On the night of October 13 as I went to my headquarters 
after spending half the night in the front lines, I felt confi- 
dent that we were going through the next morning and 

The Division as a Fighting Machine 21 

while I was satisfied, yet I had no desire for sleep. I forgot 
that it was night. When the artillery started its action 
actually on time at dawn, and when everything started 
as planned, I felt a certain amount of relief and in spite of 
my desire to know what was going on I fell asleep in the 
midst of the deafening roar of the heavy artillery and con- 
tinued sleeping until about eight o'clock in the morning. 
I needed no time to make my toilet, no time to dress. I 
forgot to eat my breakfast as I had forgotten to eat my 
supper the night before, went to the place where all reports 
were received and where the operations map was kept, 
found that reports were beginning to come in — reports 
which had in them some of the elements of hope and yet 
without that definiteness necessary before encouraging 
reports should be made to the higher command. Gradually, 
however, came reports from the various parts of the front 
which, taken together, indicated that progress was being 
made. The battle order required the left center to go over 
the top first; the artillery lifted and moved forward off the 
enemy fortified position there first. The One Hundred 
Twenty-sixth Infantry followed through and a message 
was received that it was following the barrage. Another 
message — that the One Hundred Twenty-seventh In- 
fantry on the left had gone against the heavy wire in the 
woods and against the steep hills of La Cote Dame INIarie 
and was stopped. Another message — that the right battal- 
ion on the extreme right of the sector, a battalion of the 
One Hundred Twenty-eighth Infantry, had penetrated 
the line and had advanced behind the barrage as far as the 
outskirts of Romagne where it was held up, that the Infan- 
try Commander had stopped the barrage in front of that 
part of the line and had requested artillery fire on the town. 
I directed the Artillery Commander to place all of his avail- 
able heavy guns, including two batteries of S" Howitzers, 
army artillery, which had been i>lace(i under my control. 

22 Major General William G, Haan 

The roaring of the heavy cannon soon told that these orders 
were promptly complied with. In the meantime further 
information was received that the One Hundred Twenty- 
sixth Infantry in the left center was still following the 
barrage and was approaching the first objective about one 
mile north of the main position where the jump-off was 
made, but that the One Hundred Twenty-seventh In- 
fantry was unable to advance. I suggested to the Brigade 
Commander that he send additional troops through the 
gap through which the One Hundred Twenty-sixth 
Infantry had penetrated and attack La Cote Dame Marie 
from the east by a flank movement to the left. At 1:50 
o'clock I sent the following message to Corps Headquar- 
ters: *'I believe we will get to our objectives before the day 
is over. Everything indicates that our men are fighting 
fine." I received a message from Lieutenant Gotschalk, 
who had succeeded to the command of the battalion of the 
One Hundred Twenty-eighth Infantry which had been 
held up to the south of Romagne, to stop firing on the town 
of Romagne — that he had succeeded with his battalion in 
moving around to the left of the town and had formed a line 
on the north side of it. This I could hardly believe. It was 
almost too good to be true, but I knew this oflicer's reports 
were reliable and gave the necessary instructions to comply 
with his requests. Things were becoming more cheerful. 
In the meantime the right center battalion, also of the One 
Hundred Twenty-eighth Infantry, had succeeded in de- 
molishing the remainder of the enemy's position and was 
moving forward in its sector. Shortly after this more good 
news came to the effect that the One Hundred Twenty- 
sixth Infantry had moved to the left and occupied part of the 
ridge of La Cote Dame Marie and still a little later that the 
One Hundred Twenty-seventh Infantry had flanked hill 
286, the extreme west end of La Cote Dame Marie, by going 
into the sector of the Forty-second Division, advancing in 

Operations Chart 

Major General William G, Haan 

that sector, and then taking it by a flank movement. The 
Staff at Headquarters was all smiles by this time. The 
One Hundred Twenty-sixth Infantry, operating . from 
the right, and the One Hundred Twenty-seventh Infan- 
try, operating from the left, mopped up the ridge known as 
La Cote Dame Marie. This was an extremely strong posi- 
tion — in fact, it was so strong that a direct assault upon it 
from the front, for which it was built, would have cost the 
lives of hundreds and hundreds of men. The taking of this 
position by a double flank movement was one of the clever- 
est pieces of work of the entire war. This strong position 
was taken with a minimum loss and that part of its garrison 
which did not succeed in escaping was captured in the jaws 
of this double flank movement. We had now in our posses- 
sion the entire position which had given me so much anxiety. 

The action of the Division — a great mass made up of 
men, animals, motors, and material — in its slow forward 
movement seemed almost as one huge, living animal — 
stalling a little here and there, yet driven forward again as if 
by a living power actuated by a single huge, muscular body 
determined to keep on moving obstinately in one particular 
direction. The Division had in fact become a living ma- 
chine, an entity which responded to the will of its Comman- 
der whose commands as well as words of encouragement and 
commendation speeded through the nervous system of this 
huge, living animal, adjusted its various parts, and kept the 
propellers going; and though it stalled again and again, it 
never failed to respond until it had before night accom- 
plished more than its allotted task. It had gone beyond its 
objective and had justified all and more than its Comman- 
der had predicted for its day's work in his first message to 
the higher command. 

On the evening of the fourteenth, when I was visiting 
the brigade commanders and consulting with them as to the 

The Division as a Fighting Machine 


next day's operations, the Commander in Chief, General 
Pershing, visited our headquarters and placed his finger on 
the map and said, "I want that place" — the Bois de Chau- 

Our Chief of Staff must have had great pleasure in 
saying to General Pershing, '^General, we have that position 
now, and General Haan has gone forward to see his brigade 
commanders with a view to driving farther ahead tomorrow 

In this operation the Division earned its title, which was 
later given to it: "The Red Arrow" Division. Perhaps 
most of you have been told why the barred arrow was 
adopted as the Division insignia. Here is an example of how 
the Division made an arrow of itself and shot forward always 
at the critical moment. This was by no means the only 
time ; it did the same thing in the two other battles in which 
it fought: the Second Battle of the Marne and the Battle 
of Juvigny. In the first it arrowed forward and captured the 
town of Fismes; with the Tenth French Army in the same 
way it captured the strong position of Juvigny, in both cases 
sticking its point forward arrow-like and exposing its flanks 
to get these positions. 

The remainder of the work of the Division in this remark- 
able battle is shown on the Operations Map; note that 
the "arrowhead" was completed. 

Upon arrival at my headquarters at midnight on Octo- 
ber 14 I awoke my stenographer, who was quietly sleeping 
on the floor of my spacious office, and dictated an order, 
which was sent out by telephone to brigade commanders, 
to be immediately dispatched to the troops. This order 
read in part as follows : 

I most heartily congratulate every officer and man on the sjilendiil 
achievements of the day — of the many hard and successful days during 
three great battles, today marks the high point of accomplished success. 


Major General William G, Haan 

It is the more marked because it was done as a climax after fifteen days' 
continuous and frequently desperate fighting. 

It was for his conduct of this battle that the Division Com- 
mander was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. 

At the close of the battle the following letter was received 
from the Corps Commander: 

The recent long service of the Thirty-second Division in the front 
line of the Fifth Army Corps has been characterized by such a fine 
example of soldierly effort that the Corps Commander commends you 
and your soldiers and officers for it. 

Under extremely difficult circumstances, and over a rough, hilly, 
and wooded terrain, the Division broke through the enemy's strong lines 
(Kriemhilde Stellung) and reached and took its objectives. 

This effort and the result accomplished speak for themselves, but 
that you and your men may know that the Corps Commander appre- 
ciates their exertion, and acknowledges their success, he thanks each one. 

MUSCODA, 1763-1856 
Joseph Schafer 

The light which local inquiry can shed upon general 
history is well illustrated from a variety of viewpoints in the 
story of the Wisconsin village which is the subject of this 

Muscoda as a present-day railway station is inconspicu- 
ously located on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul 
line, Prairie du Chien division, at the distance of fifty-six 
miles almost due west from Madison, one hundred and 
fifty-two from Milwaukee; it is forty-two miles east from 
Prairie du Chien. The village was begun at the river bank 
on the south side of Wisconsin River, in section 1, township 
8 north, range 1 west of the fourth principal meridian. It 
stretches south from the river toward the flanking hills 
about three-fourths of a mile, the main portion now cluster- 
ing about the depot, whereas the *'01d Town" lay farther 
north and hugged the river bank. 

The ground on which Muscoda stands is a portion of the 
sandy plain, the outwash of the erosion process by which the 
Wisconsin and its larger tributaries worked their way 
through the sandstone stratum. The upper courses of these 
tributaries and the smaller streams which feed them have 
laid down flood bottoms of rich alluvium. Often, too, the 
bench land of their valleys is a fertile limestone soil inter- 
mingled with clayey patches and occasional streaks of sand. 
These are all characteristics of the **Driftless Area," as the 
geologists have named this region, because the various 
primordial movements of glacial ice, so influential in modi- 
fying the topography elsewhere, passed around instead of 
over it, leaving no **drift" upon it. The terrain is just what 
the eroding waters in the course of countless ages maiie it — a 

28 Joseph Schafer 

system of regular valleys perfectly drained and bounded 
by symmetrically sculptured hills or bluffs, which exhibit 
a level sky line and decrease in altitude steadily till at the 
heads of the streams they merge in the great plateau or 
* 'prairie" of southern Wisconsin. The valleys ma,ke natural 
and not ill-graded highways from the prairie to the Wiscon- 
sin River, while the ranges of bluffs separating them appear 
like promontories running out fingerwise from the main 
plateau and terminating either where two smaller streams 
converge or at the edge of the lower plain laid down by the 

The principal stream entering the Wisconsin from the 
south, in the neighborhood of Muscoda, is Blue River — the 
'*Riviere Bleu" of the French traders. It has several head 
streams rising in township 6-1 E, and a large aflluent named 
the Fennimore rising in 6-1 W, the Six Mile Creek, rising in 
7-1 E and Sandy Branch which heads in 8-1 E. There 
are also several small branches entering the Fennimore from 
7-2 W. In its lower course the Blue River swerves to the 
west, entering the Wisconsin near Blue River Station, in 
Township 8-2 W, but its rich upper valleys and those of its 
tributaries have always been mainly within the trade area of 
Muscoda. North of the Wisconsin the valleys most inti- 
mately associated with Muscoda are Indian Creek, Eagle 
Creek, and Knapp's Creek in Richland County. The 
'*Sand Prairie," by which name the sandy plain along the 
Wisconsin on the south side has long been known, and a 
narrow tract of shelving land between the river and the hills 
on the north are also within the Muscoda area. 

Since the bluffs are mostly rough land, with only limited 
areas on their summits where the soil is deep, free from 
stones, and sufficiently even for cultivation, and the sand 
prairie comparatively infertile, Muscoda as a trade center 
suffers from the low average productivity of her territory. 
Still, from pioneer days the long valleys beyond the sand 

Muscoda, 17 68-18 56 


prairie have yielded abundant harvests; the roads through 
them from the high prairie to the south opened to Muscoda's 
merchants for some years a great trade in Hvestock and grain 
beyond her legitimate boundaries; while the cross ranges 
which run out from the high prairie northward approximate- 
ly fifteen miles forced the only rival railway/ when it came, 
back upon the great ridge, leaving the north trending valleys 
still as a whole tributary to Muscoda. 


According to Father Verwyst, a distinguished authority, 
the name Muscoda is a corruption of the Chippewa word 
"Mashkodeng" which means "prairie." A similar corrup- 
tion occurs in the name **Muscatine," a town in Iowa, and 
there was a tribe of Indians on the Upper Fox River called 
Mascouten (prairie Indians). 

The earlier name of the place was English Prairie, and 
while it is clear that geography suggested **Prairie" (or 
Savannah), there are various traditions to explain the asso- 
ciation of the word "English" with it. One is that some 
English families were settled there as early as 1812 and that 
they were massacred by the Indians. Another, that the place 
was so named from the fact that Colonel McKay, who 
descended the river in 1814 with a regiment of British 
troops to capture Prairie du Chien, encamped at this place 
which thereafter was called English Prairie. 

A more hopeful clue to the origin of the name occurs in 
the journal of Willard Keyes, a young New Englander who 
passed down the river with a party in 1817. He writes, 
under date of August 29, 1817: "pass a place called ^English 
meadow' from an English trader and his son, said to have 
been murdered there by the savages, 20 Leagues to Prairie 

^The Chicago and Northwestern. It follows in the sector south of MuscodA the 
old military road from Fort Winnebago to Fort Crawford. Towns taking some of Mus- 
coda's former trade are Montfort, Fennimore, and Cobb. 


Joseph Schafer 

du Chien."2 Now, the fact of "an English trader and his 
son" being murdered at some point on the Wisconsin River 
between the Portage and Prairie du Chien is well established. 
In the journal of Lieut. James Gorrell, the first English 
commandant at Green Bay after the ejection of the French, 
we read, under date of June 14, 1763: "The traders came 
down from the Sack [Sauk] country, and confirmed the 
news of Landsing and his son being killed by the French." 
When all the Sauk and Foxes had arrived at Green Bay a 
few days later they told Gorrell that their people were all in 
tears "for the loss of two English traders who were killed 
by the French in their lands, and begged leave ... to 
cut them [the French] in pieces."^ 

In the following summer, 1764, Garrit Roseboom testi- 
fied, that "about the latter end of April, 1763, he was going 
from the Bay [Green Bay] to the Soaks [Sauk] to look for 
his Partner Abr ah [a] m Lancing who had been up there, 
being told that he was killed, that on his way he met some 
Indians coming down with some Packs [of furs], which he 
knew to be his, and which they said he could have for paying 
the carriage. That both the French and Indians told him, 
Mr. Lancing and his son were killed by two Frenchmen" 
who were servants of Mr. Lansing and who afterwards 
escaped to the Illinois Indians.^ ^ 

When we reflect how persistent is the memory of great 
tragedies and recall that some of the French traders and 
voyageurs who were on the river when the murder took 
place remained there for many years and handed down the 
traditions of the river to their successors, it is not hard to 
believe that it was the story of Abraham Lansing and his 
son, slightly altered, which Willard Keyes heard from the 
rivermen as his boat drifted along the "English meadow" in 

^ Wisconsin Magazine of History, 111, 352. 
' Wisconsin Historical CollectionSt I, 38, 41. 
* Wis. Hist. Colls. XVIII, 263-64. 

Muscoda, 176S-1856 


1817. The French traders in whose company he was would 
not be Hkely to ascribe the murder to their own people so 
long as there were "savages" who might just as well serve 
as scapegoats. We may consider it almost certain, then, 
that the place came to be called English Prairie from the 
gruesome crime of 1763, which had occurred almost three- 
quarters of a century before the postofSce of that name was 
established, and more than half a century prior to the voy- 
age of Willard Keyes. Jonathan Carver, who visited a vil- 
lage of the Fox Indians at that place in 1766, does not use the 
name; but neither does he mention the story of the murder 
which occurred only three years before. 

No definite information about the fur trade at English 
Prairie, aside from the record in Lansing's case, has come 
down to us. Tradition has it that Laurent Rolette, brother 
of the famous Prairie du Chien trader, Joseph Rolette, 
traded there for some years, going later to the Portage. It 
appears also that some time before the arrival of white set- 
tlers a trader named Armstrong operated in that neighbor- 
hood. But no details have been preserved and we can only 
infer from the fact that Indians were still numerous when 
settlers came that the tjade at English Prairie in earlier 
times was pirobably important. 

It was the Black Hawk War and the treaties following it 
that produced the revolutionary change in the life of the 
natives in this region. From that time forward Indians 
could live south of the river only on sufferance, though they 
were permitted to roam the forests to the northward for 
about a quarter of a century longer. During the Black 
Hawk War a detachment of Colonel Henry Dodge's 
Mounted Volunteers went to English Prairie, another de- 
tachment going at the same time to Prairie du Chien. 
Between them these two bodies of troops scoured both sides 
of the Wisconsin from the mouth to the Portage, dislodging 
all natives. English Prairie was also the camping ground for 


Joseph Schafer 

a military company composed of friendly Indians recruited 
at Green Bay and led to Prairie du Chien by Samuel C. 
Stambaugh in July, 1832. The route of march was from 
Green Bay to the Portage, thence to Sugar Creek (near 
Blue Mounds), thence to Fort Dodge (Dodgeville) , thence 
to English Prairie, thence to Prairie du Chien "with one 
other camping between." 


History repeats itself in making the Indian War of 
1832 the impulse to a great new expansion movement 
among American pioneers. Just as the Pequod War of 
1638 by familiarizing the coast settlers of Massachusetts 
with the rich land^ of the interior enticed them westward, 
and as the Seven Years' War destroyed the last obstacle 
to western and northern expansion in New England, so in a 
very real sense this war made the beginnings of the agricul- 
tural settlement in Wisconsin. Immediately after the Black 
Hawk War the survey of the lands in southern Wisconsin 
began. In the four years, 1832 to 1836, the entire region 
from the Illinois line north to the Wisconsin, the Fox, and 
Green Bay, and from the Mississippi to Lake Michigan, 
was checked off into townships and sections. Hardy, re- 
sourceful government surveyors, with their crews (usually 
two chainmen and one axman) traversed every square mile, 
whether prairie, forest, valley, or bluff. In 1834 a land 
office was opened at Mineral Point for the sale of lands in 
the western portion of Michigan Territory (as it was then) . 

The ranges of townships numbered 1 W and 1 E, of 
which the townships numbered eight (Muscoda and 
Pulaski) bounded by the Wisconsin, were for some years the 
northernmost, were surveyed by Sylvester Sibley in 1833. 
The next year those lands were offered for sale and some 
tracts along the river were actually sold to private individu- 
als. Among the purchasers were Thomas Jefferson Par- 


Joseph Schafer 

risli and Charles Bracken, who were well-known lead miners 
and smelters living farther south. Others among the early 
land owners of Township 8-1 W have been identified as 
mining men. 

The lead mines, while known and worked by Indians and 
a few traders for many years, received the first large body 
of emigrants in 1828, when several thousand came scattering 
out widely over the territory which now constitutes Grant, 
Iowa, and Lafayette counties in Wisconsin, together with 
adjacent parts of Iowa. These were the lead miners who 
under Dodge and Hamilton fought the Black Hawk War. 
It was these hardy pioneers who as troopers patrolled the 
Wisconsin River and who finally delivered the coup de 
grace to Black Hawk's band far to the north on the banks of 
the Mississippi. ' 

Many of the lead miners were shrewd business men 
always on the lookout for good financial prospects. With 
the knowledge of new regions gained during the war, either 
from personal observation or from reliable report, with the 
sense of a new era opening to settlement and expansion in 
the region dependent for transportation facilities on the 
Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers, it is not strange that some 
of them should have been interested in river points lying 
as far outside the mineral belt proper as did English Prairie. 


For it is clear that it was water and not lead that the 
pioneers of Muscoda sought. Surveyors and prospectors 
had found no hopeful signs of mineral north of townships 
6-1 W and 7-1 E. A few years later (1839) Dr. David Dale 
Owen, the geologist, made his famous survey of the lead 
region and excluded from it everything north of the heads 
of Blue River in townships 6 and 7-1 E. When the lands 
in township 8-1 W were offered for sale in November, 1834, 
it was precisely the river front lots and subdivisions which 

Muscoda, 1763-1856 35 

52911 j 

were taken first. Parrish entered fractional lots 2 and 3 
of section 1 ; Frederick Bronson the northeast fraction of 
; the southeast quarter of section 1 ; Isaac Bronson the south 
■ half of the southeast fractional quarter; Garrit V. Denniston 
the southeast half of the fractional southwest quarter; and 
Denniston and Charles Bracken fraction No. 4 of fractional 
section 1 . Other water front tracts in section 2 were bought 
by Denniston at this time; between 1836 and 1841 other 
tracts in the same sections were bought by others. All of 
these lands were obviously deemed favorable locations for a 
prospective town dependent on river transportation. 

The way in which the village was begun, by the erection 
of a smelting furnace, is rather startling, in view of the 
absence of lead in the region adjacent. The motives which 
induced Colonel William S. Hamilton of Wiota to build a 
furnace at English Prairie can only be conjectured. 

Colonel Hamilton was the son of the great Alexander 
Hamilton, Washington's Secretary of the Treasury. As a 
lad of seventeen in 1814 he entered West Point but resigned 
in 1817 to accept a commission as deputy surveyor-general 
under Col. William Rector, surveyor-general for Illinois, 
Missouri, and Arkansas. From that time young Hamilton 
was almost continuously in the West, though he made one 
trip east, on horseback, to see his mother. He was in 
Wisconsin as early as 1825 and in 1827 began his career as a 
lead miner and smelter in what is now Lafayette County 
at Wiota or Hamilton's Diggings. He took part in the 
Indian troubles of 1827, and also in the Black Hawk War. 

It is not known with certainty when Hamilton estab- 
lished his furnace at English Prairie. Tradition says it was 
in the year 1835. If the furnace was operating then, it is 
strange that so careful an observer as Feathcrstonhaugh, 
who dropped down the Wisconsin in August, 1835 and 
stopped at English Prairie to draw a sketch of its landscape, 


Joseph Schafer 

should have failed to note that fact.^ We are probably- 
justified in asserting that the furnace was not there at that 
time. But we know it was there in 1837, for Captain 
Frederick Marryat, a famous English writer who descended 
the river in that year, saw "a small settlement called the 
English prairie" where there was a "smelting-house and a 
steam saw-mill."^ I incline to think the year 1836 was the 
date of its beginning. In 1835 Hamilton was a candidate for 
member of the Council from the western part of Michigan 
Territory. His canvass was conducted in the lead mining 
region and his advertisement appeared in the Galena 
papers. He was elected to and became president of the 
so-called "Rump" Council which met at Green Bay Janu- 
ary 1, 1836 and sat for two weeks. During that session 
the town of Cassville, on the Mississippi, was designated 
as the territorial capital, Hamilton making the principal 
argument in favor of the movement. Much interest was 
manifested in internal improvements designed to develop a 
through line of transportation via the Wisconsin and Fox 
rivers.^ The territory of Wisconsin was just being organ- 
ized by Congressional action and great expectations were 
being awakened in consequence. 

The miners and smelters had theretofore sold their lead 
through the commission merchants of Galena, by whom it 
was sent to St. Louis. But as new mines were opened farther 
and farther north, the cost of transportation to Galena — by 
means of the ''sucker teams" ^ — steadily increased. More- 
over, in the year 1836-37 the price of lead declined so 
alarmingly that little of it was made and the smelters had 

^ Featherstonhaugh was obviously in error in calling that stopping place Prairie 
de la Bay. The context shows it must have been English Prairie. See his A Canoe Voyage 
on the Minnay Sotor, I, 199-201. 

6 Wis. Hist Colls. XIV, 147. 

^ The Portage canal was begun in 1836 by a private company. Its completion was 
promised in 1837. See Governor Dodge's message to the Legislative Assembly, Belmont, 
Oct. 26, 1836. 

^ Ox-teams owned by Illinois farmers. 

Photo by 

Edward C. Nelson 


Muscoda, 176S-1856 


nearly all ceased to operate. Yet, it was felt that prices 
would rise again promptly in response to the demand for 
lead. In the same period, due no doubt partly to the hard- 
ships of the miners and smelters, there was widespread and 
loud dissatisfaction with the treatment accorded the lead 
owners by the Galena middlemen. Efforts were made to 
establish some other lead shipping port as a rival to Galena, 
which helps to explain the rise of both Cassville and Potosi. 

The inference from these facts is that Hamilton prob- 
ably thought he saw in a smelter located at the steamboat 
landing at English Prairie a possibility of immediate profit, 
even though margins were very narrow, and a chance to 
build up a flourishing business. He could buy the cheapest 
ore — that which was produced near the northern edge of 
the lead region, Centerville, Wingville, and Highland. The 
haul from those places would be short and all down grade 
and if the mineral were taken direct from the mines there 
would be no rehandling until the bars of pure lead were 
ready to be dumped from the furnace floor into the hold 
of the steamer. The teams employed to bring down the raw 
mineral could carry freight back the fifteen or twenty miles 
to the mines much more cheaply than it could be trans- 
ported from Galena or Cassville three or four times as far. 
Finally, abundant supplies of wood were at hand to feed 
the furnace, and French rivermen were a source from which 
to recruit labor. 

To an enterprising, speculative, acquisitive character 
like Hamilton, who had no family to tie him to a particular 
spot, such arguments would appeal strongly, and there is no 
inherent reason why the venture should not have suc- 
ceeded. Hamilton operated the furnace, cither personally 
or by proxy, at least till 1838 and possibly longer, selling it 
finally to Thomas Jefferson Parrish, whose principal mining 
and smelting business was located at the head of Blue 
River, afterwards Montfort. 


Joseph S chafer 

The fact that Parrish owned the ground at the steam- 
boat landing and that in 1837 he was postmaster at EngUsh 
Prairie (then called Savannah) suggests that he may have 
been a partner in the business from the first and perhaps 
local manager of the furnace. At all events, Hamilton 
continued his business at Wiota and very soon cut loose 
entirely from the English Prairie venture.^ That place, 
under the name of Savannah or English Prairie, was a 
calling place for river steamers as early as 1838 and is 
scheduled as forty-one miles from the mouth of the Wiscon- 
sin.^^ It was said that the only boat which regularly plied 
on the river in that year was the Science, piloted by Captain 
Clark, who made his first voyage in June, 1838.^^ But there 
were doubtless visits from steamers running to Fort Winne- 
bago (Portage) during that and earlier years. 

In one of the Milwaukee papers for 1841 is a statement 
that *'four sucker teams" had brought in lead from Thomas 
Parrish's furnace ''near Muscoday in Grant County." This 
reference has been taken as proof that the Muscoda furnace 
was still in operation. I think it refers not to the Muscoda 
furnace but to one of several furnaces Parrish was conduct- 
ing in the lead region near the heads of Blue River. The 
phrase "near Muscoday" used as far from the lead region 
as Milwaukee may very well mean some place fifteen or 
twenty miles from the Wisconsin; and the word ''near" 
instead of "at" certainly excludes Muscoda itself. Setting 
this evidence aside, there is no proof that the Muscoda fur- 
nace was operated as late as 1841. Nor, on the other hand, 
is there proof of its earlier discontinuance. We simply do 

^ Hamilton went to California during the gold rush, finding, however, not a fortune 
but an untimely grave. 

See Abel, Henry I. Geographical, Geological, and Statistical Chart of Wisconsin 
and Iowa, Phila. 1838. The fare for passengers from St. Louis to Helena (it was doubtless 
the same to Savannah) was in the cabin from $10 to $15 and on the deck from $2 
to $4. 

" Smith, William R., Observations, 44. 

Muscoda, 176S-1856 


not know how long it was kept alive or how large a business 
it developed at the "Landing." 


Two things suggest that the little village failed to develop 
a "boom" or even to gain a basis for healthy growth. These 
are the land entries in the territory adjacent and the story 
of the post office. Practically, there were no new entries of 
land between the years 1841 and 1849. This is true for all 
the townships in the tributary region — 7, 8, and 9, range 
1 W, and 7, 8, and 9, range 1 E. The post office under the 
name of Savannah appears in the government list for the 
first time in the report for 1837. At that time Thomas J. 
Parrish was postmaster. In 1839 S. A. HoUey was post- 
master, the oflfice then being listed as English Prairie. The 
postmaster's compensation was $5.68. Charles Stephen- 
son's compensation in 1841 was even smaller, $3.36, the net 
proceeds of the office amounting to only $7.55. In 1843, 
for the first time, the post office was called Muscoda. The 
postmaster was Levi J. D. Parrish, who received as com- 
pensation $9.29, the net proceeds of the office having risen 
to $16.51. 

It is probable that most of the seeming prosperity of 
1843 was due to the presence of the land office, which had 
been removed from Mineral Point to Muscoda in 1842. 
Some have charged that the change was brought about 
through James D. Doty's influence in order to save the 
town. If so, the scheme failed, for the land office promptly 
went back to Mineral Point in 1843, and May 16, 1845, the 
post office department discontinued the office at Muscoda. 
Muscoda was not listed in the post office report for 1847 or 
in the report for 1849. In 1851 it reappears, with James 
Moore as postmaster. Now the compensation is $39 . 74 and 
the net proceeds $53.09. The exact date of its restoration 


Joseph Schafer 

is not given but it must have been as early as 1850, and 
possibly 1849 or even 1847.^^ 


The reopening of the Muscoda post office, about 1850, 
synchronizes with the first movement of pioneer farmers 
into the good lands tributary to that place. A number of 
tracts of land were purchased by actual settlers in this and 
adjoining townships in the years 1849 to 1851. Indeed, 
Conrad Kircher's purchase dates from 1847. Charles Miller 
and Emanuel Dunston bought land in 1849; Isaac Dale and 
Moses Manlove in 1851. We know also that the Moore 
family owned land at Muscoda as early as 1851. Across 
the river, in township 9-1 W, Robert Galloway, William 
Pickering, William and Andrew Miller, and two or three 
others bought in 1849; several in 1850; and a few others be- 
fore 1854, when the great rush came. 

A similar story can be told for township 9-1 E (now 
Orion) where J. H. Schuermann and Daniel Mainwaring 
(settlers) bought lands in 1849; Albert C. Dooley in 1850; 

^2 If the office was not open in 1847 it is hard to explain the language used by a 
correspondent of the Prairie du Chien Patriot, Feb. 23, 1847, who says: "The mail from 
. . . Mineral Point to Muskoda goes but once a week. There is no post office in Richland 
County; their post office is at Muskoda." The census of 1846 assigns to the northern 
district of Grant County 1,482 persons. It is possible to identify in the lists of heads of 
families six families whose later homes were at or near Muscoda. They are John D. Par- 
rish, James Smith, Manuel Denston [Dunston?], Thomas Waters, Wm. Garland, and 
Richard Hall. All of these are met with again in the census returns for Dec. 1, 1847, 
where the "Muscoday Precinct of Grant County is listed separately. The precinct seems 
to have included townships 7 and 8-1 W and townships 7 and 8-2 W, or the present towns 
of Muscoda, Castle Rock,Watterstown, and Hickory Grove. That precinct is credited with 
thirteen families aggregating 77 persons. Aside from the families mentioned above 
(except Denston) we find the names of S. [R.?] Carver, J. Moore, N. Head, M. Manlove, 
D. Manlove, I. Dale, S. Smith, D. Smith, and A, Mills. Garland is credited with a family 
consisting of nine males and two females, which confirms the statement in the county 
history that he was managing a hotel in Muscoda at that time. Moses Manlove has a 
family of seven males and five females which suggests a second hotel or "boarding house." 
Most of the other families mentioned probably lived some distance from Muscoda on 
farms. Aside from those in Muscoda Precinct of Grant County, several families living 
in Iowa County, township 8 1-E, must have depended for their supplies either on Muscoda 
or on Highland. These were John Pettygrove, A. Palmer, A. Bolster, three Knowlton 
families, Mathias Schafer, Henry Gottschall, Vincent Dziewanawski, and the two Wall- 
bridges. If Richland County settlers really were, as reported, getting their mail at 
Muscoda, that would mean, according to the census, that 235 persons living north of the 
Wisconsin must have done some trading at that place. The county history says the old 
log house once used as the land office served in 1847 as the store. 

Muscoda, 176S-1856 . 41 

and Jacob Roggy in 1851. One of the purchasers of 1848, 
John H. Siegrist, was probably the eariiest actual settler in 
the township. A half dozen families bought in township 
8-1 E as early as 1849; and a few others were added before 
1854. A very few settlers were to be found in township 
7-1 W prior to 1854, and while there were a good many 
settlers and miners in township 7-1 E, the greater part of 
that township was served from Highland where a post 
office was established as early at least as 1847 and where 
there was much lead mining activity, and from Blue River 
which had a post office from 1839. These mining centers 
doubtless drew their supplies from the steamers unloading at 
MuScoda, for the road to the river at that point had been 
open for many ye^rs, but settlement was more numerous 
and local activity much more intense, as revealed by the 
post office returns. The Highland post office led the Mus- 
coda post office in importance for just about ten years — from 
1847 to 1856. With the coming of the railroad, Muscoda 
drew ahead. 


If one had no other evidence than the sales of land at the 
United States Land Office, it would still be clear that in the 
years 1854 to 1856 something important was astir affecting 
the value of lands in those townships (7, 8, and 9 — 
1 W, and 7, 8, and 9 — 1 E) which pivot on Muscoda 
as the trading point. For, while up to 1854 only scattering 
tracts of land had been entered, and those largely by specu- 
lators using military land warrants in making payment to the 
government, by 1856 nearly every forty-acre subdivision of 
first-rate land and much of the second-rate land also was 
under private ownership. And the state lands in the town- 
ships had also been purchased to the same extent. Besides, 
the vast majority of the purchasers of government land 
during those years were actual settlers, with only an ort a- 
sional speculator.^'' 

This is not true of the state lands, which went mainly to speculators first, then to 


Joseph Schafer 

These facts challenge attention and call for an explana- 
tion. Wisconsin had been in course of settlement for about 
two decades. The earliest settlements were in the south- 
eastern and eastern parts of the state where the economic 
support was the market reached by the Great Lakes and 
the Erie Canal; and in the southwestern section where the 
basis of prosperity had been lead-mining. The lead found 
its market mainly down the Mississippi, though increasingly 
the superiority of the route open to the lake ports had 
impressed itself upon the people. 

At the legislative session of 1841-42 a bill was intro- 
duced for the chartering of a railroad from Milwaukee, via 
Madison, to Potosi. Despite continuous effort, the first 
railroad bill to pass, in 1847, provided only for a railroad 
from Milwaukee to Waukesha. In 1848 this was by law 
extended to the Mississippi. 

The agitation of plans for a railroad from Lake Michi- 
gan to the Mississippi tended to give the lake route an over- 
shadowing importance in the popular mind. Actual con- 
struction work on the Milwaukee-Waukesha section began 
in 1849; that portion of the road was completed by the end 
of the year 1850, and in another year it was practically 
completed to Whitewater on Rock River. It reached Madi- 
son in the year 1854. 

The intention of the company had been to build to the 
Wisconsin River so as to intercept steamboat transportation 
at or near Arena. Thence the road might run along the 
river to its mouth, or it might run along the ridge between 
the Wisconsin and the south flowing streams, reaching the 
Mississippi at some point, like Potosi, lower down. By 
the year 1853 it had been determined to follow the Wiscon- 
sin Valley route to the Mississippi, and during that summer 
the line was surveyed from the mouth of Black Earth Creek 
to Prairie du Chien. 

Muscoda, 1768-1856 


It can easily be imagined how the clangor of railway 
construction echoed in the minds and hearts of intending 
settlers. That they should have watched, with greedy eye, 
the reports of progress of the location of the road and 
hurried away to the land oiSice as soon as it was definitely 
located, to buy the good lands adjacent to the right-of-way, 
is a perfectly normal phenomenon. The township plats 
showing original purchasers of the government land tell the 
story. In section 1, township 7-1 W, four forty-acre tracts 
were bought in 1854; eleven in 1855; and one in 1856. In 
section 2, one in 1854; twelve in 1855; and two in 1857. A 
single forty had been bought as early as 1847. The other 
sections of that township show very similar dates and pro- 
portions in the entries; the same is true of the other town- 
shipfe of the group. The 1854 entrymen were those who 
pursued the railway surveyors with keenest determination. 
The slower ones came mainly in the two years following, 
during which trains actually were put on the roadbed. In 
October, 1856, the village of Muscoda, which had main- 
tained a precarious existence for twenty years, awoke to 
newness of life at the sound of the puffing locomotive. And 
the beginning of permanent prosperity for the village meant 
the beginning of prosperity for the rural neighborhood 
tributary to it. 

Julius E. Olson 

In treating this subject of Lincoln in Wisconsin I shall 
give but little time to Lincoln's participation in the Black 
Hawk War of 1832, as that phase of his life has been ade- 
quately presented by others. I desire mainly to call particu- 
lar attention to the fact that Lincoln was in the state at that 
time as a soldier, and hence not at liberty to roam about to 
satisfy the natural curiosity of his inquiring mind. He was 
among the first to respond to the call of Governor Reynolds 
for troops to repel the invasion of Black Hawk. Though 
but twenty-three years of age, he was chosen captain of a 
company of militia, repbrted to have been a '*hard set of 
men." In commanding them Lincoln had at least one 
opportunity to demonstrate his courage and his power to 
sway the minds of men, when he appeared as the defender of 
an old Indian who had strayed into camp ; the men thought 
him a spy and wanted blood. 

Before getting into Wisconsin Lincoln's company, with 
others, was mustered out; but not all of these men returned 
to their homes. Lincoln reenlisted on the same day of his 
discharge, May 28, and became a private in the Independent 
Spy Company. As such he crossed the state line near 
the site of Beloit on June 30, 1832. For ten days the troops 
pressed northward up the Rock River, finding many traces 
of the Indians, but encountering no warriors. On July 10 
near Fort Atkinson the Company was mustered out by a 
young officer who later was to become famous during the 
Civil War, Major Robert Anderson; Lincoln and his com- 
panions returned home before the battles of Wisconsin 
Heights and Bad Axe brought the war to an end, August 2. 
Lincoln's stay in Wisconsin was but brief, probably about a 

Lincoln in Wisconsin 


Besides giving Lincoln an exciting though bloodless 
outing, and an opportunity to test his mettle as a man, this 
war brought him to the notice of Major John F. Stuart, a 
lawyer of Springfield, who befriended him as a student of 
law and invited him in 1837 to become his law partner. 

Lincoln's second visit to Wisconsin has been veiled in 
more or less mystery. After a record in popular tradition of- 
nearly half a century, an account of it appeared in the 
History of Washington and Ozaukee Counties published in 
1881 by The Western Historical Company. This is a 
pretentious and seemingly reliable volume of 763 pages, over 
three hundred of which are devoted to the general history 
of the state, and includes among its contributors such well- 
known names as C. W. Butterfield, the historian. Professor 
T. C. Chamberlin, State Geologist, Dr. P. R. Hoy, Profes- 
sor Edward Searing, State Superintendent of Public 
Instruction, Professor W. W. Daniells, and Professor Roland 
D. Irving. These names induce faith in that part of the 
work relating to the counties under special consideration, 
though the name of the compiler is not given. 

The passage relating to Lincoln appears in the history of 

Port Washington, Ozaukee County, and reads as follows :^ 

The first dwelling house built in the village was erected by Gen. 
Harrison in 1835. It is still standing, apparently in a good state of 
preservation. It is a little story-and-a-half frame building, gable end, 
the sills resting on the ground. A partition divides the first floor into 
two apartments, and also the upper or half story. It was at this house 
that the first votes of the town were polled. This old and time-worn 
structure has become one of the sacred relics of the past, commanding 
a prominent place in the history of the town of Port Washington, not 
only on account of the relation it bears to the first white settler of the 
village, but because it once served as a shelter to one of America's 
greatest statesmen. It may be of interest to mention tlie fact that the 
great and martyred President, Abraham Lincoln, during his days of 
roughing it, once walked from Milwaukee to Sheboygan, and stopi>ed 
a night in this old house. After the defeat of the Mcrrimac by the 
Monitor, Mr. Lincoln, in company with some of his C'abinet officers, 
visited Fortress Monroe to get a practical knowledge of the fort. ^^ hile 

» P. 508. 


Julius E. Olson 

viewing the works, desiring some information, he approached an officer, 
who proved to be Capt. Beger, from Port Washington. "Well, my 
man," said Lincoln, "where are you from?" "Port Washington," 
repHed the Captain. "Port Washington — let me see: that is in Wis- 
consin, about twenty-five miles north of Milwaukee, is it not?" The 
Captain answered that it was. "I stopped there over night once," 
said the President; "just name over some of the men who lived there in 
the early days." The Captain proceeded to name over quite a number, 
finally mentioning that of Harrison. "Harrison, that is the man!" 
said Mr. Lincoln. "I remember him well." He then walked off to 
join his escort, leaving Capt. Beger very much elated to think that his 
town had been honored by the presence of so great a man. 

This General Harrison was not a Harrison of national 
fame. His name was Wooster Harrison, though familiarly 
termed "General" Harrison by the old settlers. He was a 
native of New York^ the history we have cited says :^ "What 
he lacked in education was supplied by a wonderful gift 
of natural wit. His reputation for story-telling extended 
throughout the whole of eastern Wisconsin. . . . He was 
a man much sought after by the early settlers, when any 
great gathering was to be held, to create mirth for the 

It is not strange that Lincoln remembered him well. 

The record of the county history is, in some details, 
supplemented by an interview furnished by Harry W. Bo- 
lens, ex-mayor of Port Washington, which appeared in the 
Milwaukee Daily News, during the year of the Lincoln 
Centenary, when so many new incidents of Lincoln's career 
came to light. The interview refers to the story as told in 
the county history, but gives the additional, though inciden- 
tal, information that Lincoln's visit was "some time between 
1835 and 1840^ — the exact year is not known; he visited 
Sheboygan, but concluded that place had no future before 
it. He returned to Port Washington and stopped there for 
two days, during which time he arranged with General 
Harrison for the rent of quarters for his law office. This 
was in the fall of the year, and the arrangement was that 

2 P. 542. 

Lincoln in Wisconsin 


Mr. Lincoln should return in the spring and take possession 
of his quarters. In the spring, however, the floods put a 
quietus on all travel — the West was fairly afloat in the 
freshet, and the heavy rain storms kept up until late in 
the summer. Under these conditions Mr. Lincoln decided 
to locate elsewhere and later sent his regrets to General 

Harry W. Bolens is the son of an enterprising and well- 
known newspaper man; he was therefore in a position to 
hear much of such traditional history as Lincoln's visit to 
Port Washington. He is one of the leading business men of 
Port Washington, has been its mayor, and is much inter- 
ested in local history. 

Now the question arises: Can these local traditions in 
any way be verified or corroborated? To try to do so is the 
object of this paper. 

In the first place, the statement that Captain Beger had 
talked with President Lincoln is not lightly to be cast 
aside. Captain Beger was born in Germany in 1841, came 
to Wisconsin with his parents in 1846, enlisted in the army 
in October, 1864, and served as a noncommissioned officer 
until the end of the war, when he returned to Wisconsin. 
Mr. Bolens writes me under date of March 24, 1920: "I 
knew Captain Beger, who conversed with Lincoln, and he 
told me the story many times." 

Although tradition does not know the year of Lincoln's 
visit to Port Washington, it reports that he was there in the 
fall. This, we shall see, is significant. 

The matter of the weather preventing Lincoln's return 
to Port Washington seems suspicious. But tlic records kc])t 
by oflScers of the United States army at Fort Howard show 
that 1836 was a year of abnormally heavy rainfall, the record 
in the spring and summer being as follows: March, 3.^ 
inches; April, 6.37; May, 5.2; June, 3.5; and July, 5. 06. 
This corroborates that part of the tradition relating to the 


Julius E, Olson 

weather and indicates that Lincoln visited Port Washing- 
ton in the fall of 1835. If he saw General Harrison at Port 
Washington he could not have done so in any other season 
of that year, for Harrison did not get to the Port Washing- 
ton region until September 7, 1835. We know definitely 
about Lincoln's whereabouts during the whole of the year 
1835 except during the months of October and November, 
which, in the biographies, are absolutely blank. 

The question now presents itself: Can Lincoln's visit 
to Wisconsin, which tradition as amplified by the records of 
the United States officers at Green Bay places in the fall of 
the year 1835, be dovetailed into his life at New Salem? 
This will lead into an absolutely new phase of the question, 
and though the matter is supported by no such direct and 
definitely reported fact as Captain Beger's interview, the 
circumstantial evidence seems to me to be strong and 
connects the visit with the great tragedy of Lincoln's life — 
the untimely death of Ann Rutledge. This occurred August 
25, 1835. I need not rehearse the details of this "saddest 
chapter in Lincoln's life." It was long suppressed, evi- 
dently out of tender consideration for others, but it is a 
well-known story today. Herndon told it in 1866 in that 
wonderful lecture which he called Abraham Lincoln, Miss 
Ann Rutledge, New Salem, Pioneering, and the Poem.^ He 
told it again in his great work on Lincoln, and others have 
retold it in the form of both history and fiction.^ 

In brief, the effect upon Lincoln was overwhelming. It 
caused him to walk the narrow path between sanity and 
insanity. As Herndon puts it in the lecture : "He sorrowed 
and grieved, rambled over the hills and through the forests, 
day and night. He suffered and bore it for a while like a 
great man — a philosopher. He slept not, he ate not, joyed 
not. This he did until his body became emaciated and weak 

3 Springfield, Illinois, 1910. 

^ See The Soul of Ann Rutledge, by Bernie Babcock, 1919. 

Lincoln in Wisconsin 


and gave way. His mind wandered from its throne." Then 
later, Herndon has these significant words: ''The friends of 
Mr, Lincoln — men, women and children — begged him to quit 
his home and place of business. They coaxed and threatened 
him by turns, in order to get him to quit the places and 
scenes of his sorrows and griefs." 

Herndon further records that in September Mr. Lincoln 
was induced to go into the country to spend some time with 
his good friends Bowlin Green and wife and adds that "in 
the space of a week or ten days . . . Lincoln rose up, a 
man once more. . . . He got well and bade adieu, for a 
short season, to Bowlin's kind roof and generous hospi- 
tality. . . . He went back to New Salem, as thought, a 
radically changed man. He went to New Salem about the 
last of September a.d. 1835." 

Herndon then tells of Lincoln's fondness for the poem 
"Oh, Why Should the Spirit of Mortal be Proud?" and 
concludes his lecture with this sentence: "It was about the 
20th day of October a.d. 1835 that Abraham Lincoln, as he 
wandered and wended his sad and melancholy way over 
hill and dale, gloomily burst forth" — and here follows the 
whole of the poem. 

Now it is to be remarked that that lone date, "the 
20th day of October a.d. 1835," is the only date I can find 
in the Lincoln biographies for the autumn months of Octo- 
ber and November, 1835, and in the setting Herndon gives 
it, it seems strangely discordant and insignificant. 

But even with that menacing obstacle to my argument, 
there was ample time after October 20th, or even before it, 
to have made the journey into Wisconsin under comfortable 
conditions of weather. 

It is not possible in this paper to take up the question of 
the practicable possibility of such a lone trip as early as 
1835, except to call attention to the fact that two years 
earlier the pioneer of Norwegian emigration, Kleng IVersoii, 


Julius E. Olson 

walked from Chicago to Milwaukee alone. ^ There was an 
Indian trail from Chicago to Green Bay. 

And why should Lincoln at this time have a desire to 
visit Wisconsin? 

If he was to follow the advice of his friends, as Herndon 
puts it, "to quit the places and scenes of his sorrows and 
griefs," to what better place could he have gone? He had 
seen enough of that region during his brief period of soldier- 
ing to know that it had many attractions. In fact, the Black 
Hawk War was Wisconsin's introduction to the American 
people. "There was an immediate and rapid increase of 
immigration, not only in the mining region but in various 
other parts of what is now Wisconsin, more especially in that 
portion bordering on Lake Michigan."^ Lincoln surely 
knew of this strong trend of immigration."^ Then he may 
have wanted to see Lake Michigan, particularly as the east- 
ern part of the state was the most accessible. From his 
early experiences with river boats we know that he was fond 
of the water. 

Such was the depth of Lincoln's sorrow after the death 
of Ann Rutledge that he may have thought he could not 
live and labor where she had died. Be that as it may, he 
was well enough in October, 1835, to realize that a change of 
scene would be beneficial. And to support this assumption 
it is possible to cite an analogous case in the life of Lincoln 
where he spoke of the advantage of "a change of scene." 
These are Lincoln's own words, used in a letter to his close 
friend, Joshua F. Speed, dated March 27, 1842. This 
was at a time after "that fatal first of January, 1841," 
when he wrote to his law partner. Major Stuart, in Congress : 
"I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel 

^ At Milwaukee Peerson found only two white men, Solomon Juneau and his brother. 

^ History of Washington and Ozaukee Counties (Chicago, 1881), 40. 

' "Returning troopers praised her soil and fertility. Eastern newspapers exploited 
her inviting opportunities for emigrants. Pamphlet literature fiu-nished travelers* 
guides." Louise P. Kellogg, in Wisconsin Magazine of History, September, 1919, 40. 

Lincoln in Wisconsin 


were equally distributed to the whole human family, there 
would not be one cheerful face on the earth. Whether I 
shall ever be better, I cannot tell; I awfully forebode I shall 
not. To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be 
better, it appears to me. ... I say this because I fear I 
shall not be able to attend to any business here, and a change 
of scene might help me. If I could be myself I would rather 
remain at home with Judge Logan. I can write no more." 
The following summer he visited his good friend Speed in 
his Kentucky home "and was much helped by the change of 
scene." ^ 

I trust that this investigation has fixed the year of 
Lincoln's visit to Port Washington and established the fact 
that it was made in consequence of the great tragedy of his 
life, the death of Ann Rutledge in 1835, "that strange, love- 
ly, heroic, pathetic story, which so many have tried to tell, 
but which still awaits the touch of a master hand."^ When 
that master appears, as he surely will, it will enhance his 
interest in the tale if it may truthfully be added that Lincoln 
sought surcease of his great grief by a visit to the wilds of the 
territory of Wisconsin, and even thought of making his home 

Lincoln's third visit to Wisconsin was made in 1859, the 
year after the great debates with Stephen A. Douglas. He 
was invited to make an address at the State Fair held in 
Milwaukee September 30, upon the invitation, in Lincoln's 
words, "of the Agricultural Society of the young, prosper- 
ous, and soon to be great State of Wisconsin." On this 
occasion he made a remarkable address on agriculture, 
which in recent years due to the increasing interest in 
scientific agriculture has attracted much attention; for in 
this address Lincoln flashed forth a vision of agricultural 

* Joseph Fort Newton, Lincoln and Herndon (Cedar Rapids, 1910), 16. 

• IhU., 12. 

i^j'^^j^t^ y^x^yf'^u^ ^v-zt^CZT" ay^)~e> /yi^uxx^i^ ^O'C^y^.^iji^ ^ 6^^^€/ 

A PAGE OF Lincoln's Milwaukee address 

Lincoln in Wisconsin 


progress that only recently has been realized through our 
great American agricultural experiment stations. 

This speech was printed in the Milwaukee Sentinel 
the day after its delivery in the Proceedings of the Agricul- 
tural Society of Wisconsin; and in the C. S. Hammond and 
Company's edition of Lincoln's works, pubhshed in 1907. 
It is not, so far as I know, mentioned in any other of th6 
biographies. At the time of the Lincoln centenary this 
address was not known to the Agricultural College of the 
University of Wisconsin. Some years afterwards I called 
the attention of the authorities to it, and later a special 
bulletin containing most of the address was published by 
the college for distribution among the farmers of Wisconsin 
as an inspiration to their agricultural efforts. I have at 
present in my possession a page of the manuscript in Lin- 
coln's handwriting used for the Milwaukee address. It was 
presented to Lathrop E. Smith of Madison by a Sentinel 
printer the year the speech was delivered. A facsimile of 
this page accompanies this sketch. The day after the 

Considering the reputation that Lincoln had won in his debates with Stephen A. 
Douglas, he received scant editorial mention from the Sentinel on the occasion of his visit 
to Milwaukee in 1859. The paper did/however, print his speech in full, with the comment 
that "it is in every sense a practical and readable effort, and will repay attentive perusal." 

The address made in Beloit was very fully reported, although not verbatim, in the 
Beloit Journal of October 5, 1859. The newspaper report of the Janes ville speech is not 
so full. But the details of Lincoln's visit to both Beloit and Janesville are still remem- 
bered by some of the older citizens. 

Although the Milwaukee papers made but slight editorial mention of Lincoln in 
1859, there was fortunately present at his address a newspaper man who did make signi- 
ficant comment. He represented a paper called The Wisconsin Pinery, published at 
Stevens Point. The article was entitled "Old Abe," and runs as follows: "Lincoln 
delivered a short address which he had nicely written out, folded in the Wisconsin, and 
tucked away under his left arm, when I first saw him. His heart and other internal ar- 
rangements are a long way from his head. He looks as if he was made for wading in di^p 
water. The women say he is homely, — I say he is handsome. He has a long nose, a 
wrinkled, clean-shaven face, large dark eyes, black eye-brows, a forchea<l that juts mor 
his eyes like a cornice, long and full, sloping up into a wealth of black hair. He looks like 
an open-hearted, honest man who has grown sharp in fighting knaves. 1 1 is face is swart hy 
and filled with very deep, long thought-wrinkles. He inspires confulenoc. His hearers 
feel sure that he will not lead them astray, or fail to make a poini if lie attempts to. 1 
think he is very much like Clay, without the light conii)loxion and firry out husjasni. His 
voice is not heavy, but has a clean trumpet tone that can be hoard an inuuenso tlistancc. 
Except N. P. Banks, I never heard a man who could talk to a largo crowd with such oa,<»o. 
The address was a short sweet Lincolnism. He thrust a stiletto into Ilanimon<l"s 'nuid- 
sill' theory. It did not please everybody, 1 supi)oso, and thoroforo it wa^s something 
positive and good." 


Julius E, Olson 

Milwaukee address Mr. Lincoln spoke at Beloit in the 
afternoon and in the city of Janesville in the evening." On 
both occasions he made political speeches. 

An account of this visit to Beloit and Janesville is given in Wis. Hist. Colls. XIV 



W. A. Titus 


Oh, why does the white man follow my path 
Like a hound on the panther's track? 
Does the flush on my dark cheek waken his wrath? 
Does he covet the bow at my back? 

History has been made rapidly in Wisconsin. Passing 
through the southern part of the state and noting the numer- 
ous cities and villages and the well-tilled fields, the traveler 
finds it hard to believe that within the memory of men still 
living this region was at the mercy of savage tribes who 
roamed at large through the wilderness and made life and 
property insecure. 

Of all the aborigines who were found in Wisconsin when 
the white settlers came the last to give trouble were the 
Winnebago and the Sauk and Foxes. There was this 
difference between the Winnebago tribe and the Sauk and 
Fox confederacy: the former was ostensibly friendly but 
undependable, while the latter, or at least a considerable 
faction, was for many years prior to 1832 openly dissatisfied 
and ugly. 

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Sauk 
and Foxes occupied the southwestern part of wliat is now 
Wisconsin and the northwestern part of Illinois. Their 
headquarters or tribal village was located near the present 
city of Rock Island. It was early foreseen by the federal 
government that settlers could not be kept out of this rich 
territory; and in 1804 a treaty was made with the con- 
federacy by which, for an insignificant sum of money (a 
tribal annuity of $1000), the Indians agreed to migrate to 


W, A. Titus 

the west side of the Mississippi, but with a proviso that the 
natives could continue to occupy their old haunts until such 
time as the government should survey the territory and 
throw it open to settlement. 

During the War of 1812 the dissatisfied element of the 
Sauk and Foxes, under the leadership of Black Sparrow 
Hawk, or Black Hawk, as he is known to later history, 
assisted the British because of real or fancied injustice at the 
hands of the Americans; this band was with Tecumseh 
when the latter fell in the Battle of the Thames. After 
this disaster to their fortunes they returned to their village 
near the confluence of the Rock and Mississippi rivers, where 
continued encroachments by white adventurers upon their 
cornfields and villages fanned the fires of hatred. In 1831 
the tribes we're deported across the Mississippi by military 
forces consisting of regulars and volunteers, and apparently 
the trouble was ended. Black Hawk, however, protested 
that none of the lands surrounding the tribal villages had 
been surveyed and, therefore, could not be transferred 
legally to white settlers. He questioned the validity of the 
treaty, on the ground that the chiefs who signed it were 
not authorized to do so by the tribe. After an attempt to 
form an alliance with the Winnebago and the Potawatomi 
he recrossed into Illinois (April, 1832) with five hundred 
warriors, nearly all of whom were well mounted, and a 
train of women and children numbering in all over a thou- 
sand people. The Illinois volunteers who were sent against 
him were defeated and fled southward; the savages then 
invaded what is now Wisconsin and pushed up the Rock 
River to the present site of Hustisford where a strong camp 
was formed facing the rapids. In the meantime, regulars, 
volunteers, and rangers had concentrated a few miles down 
the river and formed a force too strong for Black Hawk to 
meet with hope of success, so he led his people back again to 
a point a few miles northwest of the present site of Johnson 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


Creek. He could not proceed farther southward because of 
the troops, so he retreated almost due west toward the Four 
Lakes region. The Indians were encumbered by their 
women and children; they were without food; and the 
troops were soon in hot pursuit. The Winnebago, who were 
suspected of aiding Black Hawk and his warriors by con- 
cealing their movements while in the camp at the rapids, 
went over to the whites and offered their services as guides 
to harass their former allies. 

It was evident that Black Hawk, now fully convinced 
that he could not prevail against the superior military 
forces, was concerned only about getting his followers back 
to the west side of the Mississippi. In his retreat he fol- 
lowed closely the route of the present road through Cottage 
Grove, and between Third and Fourth Lakes, now a part 
of the city of Madison. The white pursuers, only a little 
less savage than the fleeing enemy, killed, scalped, and 
otherwise mutilated every wounded or exhausted Indian 
that fell by the trail, regardless of age or sex. 

Two natural barriers interfered with the retreat of 
Black Hawk and his band: the crossings of the Wisconsin 
and Mississippi. The first of these obstacles was near at 
hand. From the west side of Fourth Lake the fugitives 
moved directly toward the Wisconsin River at Wisconsin 
Heights on the border line between Mazomanie and Rox- 
bury townships of Dane County. On July 21 it became 
evident that Black Hawk must make a stand in order to 
get the women and children across the river. Both sides 
accordingly prepared for the conflict. When witliin a mile 
or two of the river bluffs Black Hawk, who possessed con- 
siderable skill in military maneuvers, threw out a rear 
guard of forty warriors to engage the attention of the sol- 
diers until the main body of his followers, and especially 
the noncombatants, were safely embarked in rnuoes or on 
rafts. The troops were unable lo see tbron^li the dense 


W. A, Titus 

thickets and, therefore, could not estimate the strength of 
the enemy. Both sides did considerable firing at unseen 
opponents, so the casualties were not heavy at this stage of 
the action and were quite evenly divided between the 
opposing forces. Finally the troops charged with fixed 
bayonets, and the savages broke and fled down the bluff 
into the river bottom with a considerable loss in killed and 
wounded. The thicket in the river bottoms offered a perfect 
hiding place for the retreating Indians, and, as night was 
coming on, the troops suspended the pursuit and camped on 
the heights. Under cover of darkness Black Hawk was 
enabled to get his surviving followers across the river with 
the exception of about one hundred and fifty old men, 
women, and children, who were placed on rafts or in canoes 
and sent down the river with the hope that they might 
succeed in reaching the Iowa bank of the Mississippi oppo- 
site the mouth of the Wisconsin. We shall learn later what 
became of these unfortunates. The Indians lost in the 
skirmish at Wisconsin Heights, several killed and a con- 
siderable but unknown number wounded. For the retreat- 
ing savages it was merely the prelude of worse things to 

[July 12, 1920 a member of the Society's staff, together 
with one of the curators, made a trip to the battle ground in 
order to ascertain its exact location. A tradition is afloat 
that the battle occurred opposite Prairie du Sac. This is 
erroneous. The state land office maps made by the sur- 
veyors in 1833, one year after the battle, give its exact 
location in the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter of 
section twenty-fou^, township nine north, range six east. 
The indications show a small stream which makes its 
way to the river which is about a mile and a half distant. 
This site is the shortest possible point near the river from 
the head of Lake Mendota, or Fourth Lake. In order 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


to reach the river the Indians had to make down the 
creek's bed or cross the extremely high and rugged ridges 
of the river cUffs. There can be no doubt that their course 
lay along the valley opened by the stream. The visitors 
were fortunate in meeting Mr. A. L. Taylor, whose land 
adjoins the section on which the surveyors marked the 
battle site. Mr. Taylor's father came from England in 
1840 and bought his farm from the government. There 

Reproduced by courtesy of Harry E. Cole 

the son was born, and well remembers when he was a 
boy the visit to their home of a man who had taken part 
in the battle. He came to see the site of this adventure, 
and Mr. Taylor walked with his father and the ex-soUiior 
over the ground. The latter showed where the whiles 
encamped during the night and tlie next day after tlie bat- 
tle; he also showed them the grave of the soldier who was 


W. A. Titus 

killed on the height above the camp. Mr. Taylor can 
locate the ridge, but not the exact site of the grave. He does, 
however, remember an old flintlock musket and a saddle 
that his father found upon the ground, but these have 
long since disappeared. In view of the exact coincidence 
between the surveyor's record and the recollections of the 
oldest settler of the neighborhood, the decision must be 
that the battle field was along the nameless stream that 
crosses the boundary line between Mazomanie and Rox- 
bury townships. It is to be hoped that the landmarks 
committee will before long mark this interesting site. 

L. P. K.] 

Joseph Schafer 

Under date of May 20, 1920, I mailed to each member 
of the Board of Curators and to a selected list of historical 
specialists a paper containing suggestions for devoting the 
Burrows Fund income for a number of years to the prepara- 
tion of a Wisconsin Domesday Book, I said: 

"In my letter, dated December 26, 1919, to the Presi- 
dent and Board of Curators of the Wisconsin Historical 
Society, I took the liberty of suggesting a plan for a future 
great history of Wisconsin which should reach very much 
further down in the social life of the state than any history 
that has yet been produced. The aim would be, I stated, to 
gather such abundant materials about our Wisconsin popu- 
lation as would enable us ultimately to point out the influ- 
ence upon Wisconsin history of even very local and seemingly 
humble individuals who had contributed ideas or devel- 
oped processes that helped forward the civilization of the 
state. Moreover, the proposed history would deal with all of 
the great elements of modern civilization, not merely with 
the political or the more picturesque social features." 

In order that we may really be ready in the space, let us 
say, of twenty years, or, if possible in sixteen years, which 
will bring us to the centennial anniversary of the territory 
of Wisconsin, to produce some such history as I suggested, 
it will be necessary to do a thoroughly systematic piece of 
work, covering a good many years, in the way of collecting 
and arranging the materials for it. We cannot depend 
upon a merely incidental method of assembling the records. 
It is true that this Society has already a vast collection, 
much of which is available for any future historical work. 


Joseph Schafer 

But there are certain classes of data which neither this 
Society nor any other society has thus far made available 
but which, because we are already so forward in our collec- 
tions, it is possible in this state to secure. It will be neces- 
sary, however, to go about it at once before the older set- 
tlers of our communities whose memories go back to the 
beginnings shall pass away. 

Perhaps I can best indicate the character of the work 
which I propose by discussing it under the name of a Wis- 
consin Domesday Book. For I have in mind something 
quite as fundamental as the famous survey of English 
counties made in the reign of William the First, and much 
more complete with reference to the original population of 
the state. There is now in existence a plat book for the 
year 1915 which lists all of the rural land owners of the 
state and indicates the limits of their holdings, their names 
being written into the plat of each surveyor's township. 
Cities and even villages have generally provided similar 
records for their areas in recent years. No such complete 
tabulation exists for an earlier period. There are, however, 
county maps, and county plat books for most of the Wis- 
consin counties, which give similar data for the period 
around 1870. It would be a comparatively simple and 
inexpensive matter to bring together these county maps 
and plats into an atlas for, say, the years 1865-75; some of 
the county plats would be for the earlier years in that 
decade and some for the later years. But on the whole 
they would give valuable information for what is recog- 
nized as the middle period in Wisconsin history, the years 
immediately following the Civil War. 

Nothing of the sort exists for the pioneer period. There 
are indeed some maps dating from the 40's and 50's, which 
show what land has been entered, and in some cases the 
names of prominent settlers are written into these maps. 
But there is no systematic geo-social survey. That is a 

The Wisconsin Domesday Book 63 

great deficiency and one which for historical purposes ought 
to be supphed. There should he a plat hook or atlas that will 
give the student of Wisconsin history immediate access to the 
names of first settlers in each section of the state, together 
with an ocular account of the lands they occupied, as these are 
located upon the plats. 

The utility of the proposed atlas must be evident from 
whatever angle it is viewed. Early civilization in Wisconsin, 
as in other western states, results primarily from the inter- 
action of two forces; an agricultural population of several 
distinct origins and characters and a body of land which 
was at first almost free but which varied widely in natural 
fertility and in the ease with which it could be subdued to 
the uses of the farmer. The social historian needs to know 
in detail, at least for typical areas, the conditions under 
which the several classes of lands were occupied and the 
types of settlers who occupied them. He needs to know both 
how the settlers dealt with the land under varying circum- 
stances and how the land reacted upon the settlers economi- 
cally and socially. Numerous special studies interpreta- 
tive of Wisconsin and of American history wait upon the 
preparation of such a working basis as we have proposed. 
The history of education, of morals, of social amelioration; 
the history of land values which is becoming a critical 
necessity of the age, all need to be illuminated by studies 
based on concrete facts for which a knowledge of the pri- 
mary social and economic community elements is indis- 
pensable. Says Professor Frederick J. Turner (in a letter 
to the Superintendent) : *T should make in selected areas, 
detailed study of the correlations between party votes, by 
precincts, wards, etc., soils, nationalities and state-origins 
of the voter, assessment rolls, denominational groups, 
illiteracy, etc. What kind of people tend to be Whigs, what 
Democrats, Abolitionists, etc.? This can be ascertained by 


Joseph Schafer 

such studies, and it would be the first time such correlations 
have been worked out on any considerable scale." 

Our problem then is how to obtain a record showing 
precisely when every piece of land in the given area (town- 
ship or county) passed into the hands of a private cultivator 
so that it could begin to function in civilization building, 
and who it was that assumed the responsibility of making it 
function. The settler represents the family; and the family 
is the unit in social studies. 

The surveyor's township is the most convenient terri- 
torial unit for our purpose because it is the government's 
starting point in preparing to make sales of its lands to 
private individuals. The original surveyor of a given 
township placed on record a plat showing its subdivisions 
down to one-fourth of a quarter section or forty acres; he 
also represented the rivers, lakes, or other similar geogra- 
phic features occurring in that area, thus making a detailed 
map of the township. The surveyor's field notes contain 
in addition a concise description of the land as it was seen 
by him in running the section lines. For example, on the 
line between sections 5 and 6, in township 7 — 1 W, 
Sylvester Sibley, the surveyor (1833), notes: "Land level 
and first rate. Thinly timbered with oak." And there is a 
similar comment for every mile traced. The government 
sold its lands in tracts of forty acres or multiples thereof. 
The record in the land office tract book, which is arranged 
by townships and sections, gives the description of the tract 
purchased; its contents; price paid; form of payment, 
whether in cash or in military land warrant, etc. ; the date of 
purchase; and name of purchaser, with some other data. 
In the United States land office at Wausau, Wisconsin, are 
found all the records of all the land offices ever maintained 
in this state. Under a law of 1883 the officers of the land 
offices are authorized to furnish to citizens, at the fixed 
rate of four dollars each, plats of townships showing "form 

The Wisconsin Domesday Booh 


of entries, names of claimants, character of entry, number, 
and date of filing or entry, together with topography, etc." 
The state land office at Madison has all similar data for 
entries of state land. 

The process of securing the atlas of original private 
grantees of the land thus becomes fairly simple, and we 
have already followed it through in a sufficient number of 
individual cases to enable us to test its working and to 
report intelligently upon its availability. We have ordered 
plats from the land office in Wausau. These were made in 
the usual way and at the legal price. We have then ob- 
tained from the state land office the record of sales by the 
state to private individuals of lands located in these town- 
ships. And we have also obtained from the state land 
office the description of the land from the field notes of sur- 
veyors. With this supplementary material we have then 
completed the plats, writing state land entries in the appro- 
priate subdivisions and inscribing the surveyor's notes in the 
blank lines at the margin of the plat. The plat is then pho- 
tostated and filed away. All copies are made from the 
photostatic negative. 

From the interest which schools have already developed 
in local history study, under the leadership of the State 
Superintendent, county superintendents, and teachers, and 
from the peculiar adaptability of these township plats 
as material aids to this work, we have reason to anticipate 
that the Society will be called upon to furnish several copies 
of each plat to the schools. This will enable us to promote 
a praiseworthy educational movement which is directly 
in line with the Society's interest, and also to make some 
saving in the first cost of the township plats. Since tlie 
process of preparing the plats at the United States land 
office is necessarily slow, and the school officers in some 
counties are eager to have the Society supply coi)ios of tlieir 
townships in September, we have given the register of the 


Joseph Schafer 

land office a number of advance orders to be filled during 
the summer. 

As soon as some of the plats shall have been distributed 
to schools and other local groups, work will begin on the 
second phase of the plan which from its analogy to the 
process of making the historic Domesday Book might well 
be called 


The object of this inquest will be to identify the pioneer 
owner of every farm in the township, the creator, out of the 
raw land, of every self-supporting home. 

The primitive land was in part bought or entered by 
persons who never became settlers. At certain periods, 
especially, speculators were eager purchasers of both govern- 
ment and state land. Many names, sometimes oft repeated, 
of men prominent in later Wisconsin history appear on the 
plats. Occasionally some distinguished or famous name 
appears, like that of Daniel Webster, who was the purchaser 
of several tracts in Dane County.^ There are personal 
reasons why the land speculators are often especially worthy 
of biographical study; and besides, the business of specula- 
tion is one feature of land history that requires special 
treatment. But the speculators do not figure as settlers 
or cultivators, and in this inquest we are seeking to identify 
the settlers. This can be done only through local inquiry 
which should not be unduly deferred, for the remaining 
pioneers whose memories must be relied on to assist are 
daily becoming fewer. Another reason for avoiding delay 
is the fact that farms are being broken up, two or three new 
ones taking the place of one original farm, which process as 
it progresses will greatly complicate the inquiry. 

A questionnaire is being prepared to enable school 
teachers, high schoolf pupils, and others, by interviewing 

^ The name of Edward Everett appears on the plat of township 6, range 11 east, as 
purchaser of section 26 and the east half of section 27. 

The Wisconsin Domesday Booh 67 

pioneers of a given locality, to supply data for revising 
the plat showing "The Original Private Grantees of the 
Land," or rather for preparing a new plat showing "The 
Original Makers of Farms and Farm Homes." In another 
place {The Wisconsin Farmer) I have suggested that high 
school pupils might do much toward developing farm 
patriotism and at the same time furnish valuable informa- 
tion by preparing papers on: "The Pioneer Makers of Our 
Farm." Starting with the plat showing grantees of the 
land, which gives the beginning of every land title, the title 
deeds and abstracts show all changes of ownership down 
to the present. From those sources and the testimony of 
remaining pioneers, or from the evidence contained in other 
written documents, or in local newspapers, the actual settler 
of land originally entered by a speculator can be identified. 
Should this plan fail, there are, as we shall see, other ways of 
obtaining the local testimony concerning the pioneer farm 
makers, and the county abstract offices can supply the data 
for fixing the time and circumstances of their purchases of 
land from the speculative en try men. The point to be kept 
steadily in mind is that the local testimony is indispensible 
to the completion of the survey. If we were absolutely sure 
of our list of speculators in all cases, and also sure that the 
party to whom the speculator sold a given tract of land was 
in every case a settler, the abstract office would supply all 
required data not furnished by the United States and state 
land offices. But obviously we cannot know these things. ^ 

Some are skeptical as to the historical value of material 
derived through the means of interviews with pioneers who 
necessarily rely on their memories for tlieir facts. The 
answer is that all depends on the type of information sought 
and the method of seeking it. Ask an octogenarian who 
has resided continuously in section 6, township 7, range 1 W 

* Lands used for other purposes than farming, ns for niiniiiK or lumbering, will neces- 
sarily have a somewhat specialized history. 


Joseph Schafer 

since 1853: "When did J. Allen Barber sell the southeast 
quarter of the southeast quarter of this section to L. Fel- 
ton?" and the answer, while perhaps definite in form, would 
be of little or no value. Ask him if L. Felton (to whom that 
particular tract entered by Barber in 1853 was patented in 
1877) was the first actual settler upon it who made a farm 
of it, and the answer if definite would be practically con- 
clusive. The date of Felton' s purchase from Barber can be 
ascertained from the record either locally or at the county 
seat. That would give the approximate date of his settle- 
ment there. 

The aim is, with the encouragement of questionnaires, 
to induce local inquirers to consult title deeds, abstracts, and 
other unquestioned local historical sources. I believe much 
can be done for us by teachers, high school pupils, and 
others in these ways. And everything that habituates the 
people to rely only on unimpeachable evidence will be a net 
gain to history and a net gain to our democracy which 
needs above most things a more general appreciation and 
understanding of the critical method of inquiry. The 
Society, therefore, as an institution designed to benefit all 
the people, can well afford to be patient even though local 
inquirers stumble at first in pursuing their inquiries. From 
the presence of the plats of original grantees in the local 
schools I am anticipating a powerful stimulation toward 
local history study among adults as well as children. If 
this interest materializes, it ought to be possible to have old 
settlers' meetings for an entire township at which someone 
appointed for the purpose would hold a genuine inquest 
covering all doubtful questions relative to first settlers. 
Such meetings might be timed to harmonize with school 
fetes, so that the younger generation could get the benefit of 
contact with the pioneers and of their backward glance over 
the history of the community. 

There are other kinds of information about settlers 
which can be obtained only from local sources and which are 

The Wisconsin Domesday Book 


of a nature to enable the historian to utihze them in the 
mass. So that even if in detail they be wanting in perfect 
accuracy, the general result is still truthful. Examples are 
statements as to where individuals and families came from ; 
where others went when they left the township ; reasons for 
emigration, etc. The collecting of photos, sketches, and 
descriptions of successive homes of the same family or of the 
same home at different periods will be a significant feature 
of the inquiry. A very interesting point will be to obtain 
local evidence concerning members of the younger genera- 
tion who, growing up in the neighborhood, left it for the 
cities or for other states to gain a wider field for their talents . 

Some have felt that it was hardly worth while to take 
account of all settlers because a large proportion of these 
had no historical significance. For two reasons I cannot 
accept this view. I think the time has come to recognize 
that the opening of every new farm in the American wilder- 
ness was an original creative process significant enough to 
deserve a line in the general record of civilization. And, 
if the original settler did nothing more than open a farm — 
and, even though he may have done that very badly — one of 
his children or descendants may at any moment compel 
attention to the record he made with ax and plow. It is well 
understood that the American frontier has been a socially 
conserving influence. It has always furnished another 
chance for those who failed elsewhere. Every area, there- 
fore, shows a certain proportion of originally unpromising 
families who have surprised old neighbors and friends by 
the way in which they "made good." The pioneer farm is 
a home, and the influence of an American home cannot be 
gauged by the character of its original founders. Such 
local inquiries as are here contemplated should result 
promptly in giving us clues to the more important pioneers, 
who could then be studied with greater particularity from 
such sources as can still be found. 


Joseph Schafer 


A very important feature of the proposed plan is to make 
a detailed survey, by counties, of the local historical records 
in order that these may be available for the preparation of 
texts to accompany the plats when the Domesday Book for 
a given county shall be published, and for any other histori- 
cal purposes. Well-trained men should be employed on 
these county surveys. They will be required to study the 
condition and contents of the county archives, the town 
records, school records, church records, records of fraternal 
societies, records of business houses, of manufactories, etc. ; 
to locate collections of letters, diaries, farm account books; 
and especially to list the files and stray numbers of early 
local newspapers. The county investigator should become 
an authority on the affairs of his county from its pioneer 
beginnings and might very well pursue his investigations 
along the lines of an outline history of the county. In 
some cases he might actually be engaged from the outset 
in writing the history of the county. Other workers — local 
members of the Society, teachers. University students hav- 
ing homes there — should be encouraged to work up materials 
for writing the histories of townships, villages, or cities. 
In each case, the township plat of land grantees is the 
starting point. It is a fact known to every investigator that 
the most eager and indefatigable collector of materials in 
any field is the person who is writing or planning to write a 
history covering that field. In such cases the interest arising 
from research for the sake of a constructive result supple- 
ments and adds momentum to the interest in collection for 
its own sake. The pursuit of data thus becomes intense, as 
with the lawyer who is driving for the facts bearing on a 
special case. The question should therefore be carefully 
considered how far the work outlined above can be assigned 
to persons who shall have the status of research associates 

The Wisconsin Domesday Book 


on our staff but who shall be dealing intensively with local 
areas, especially counties. 


Corresponding to the work which is to be done and 
promoted in the counties and local divisions, there will also 
be work carried on at the Library constantly. This work 
naturally divides itself into several branches: (a) First of 
all, there must be a secretary to keep in constant touch with 
the local history activities. Such person will formulate 
questionnaires to be used in the local work, open and keep 
up correspondence with the communities that are making 
inquiries concerning first settlers, and verify the results 
so far as these can be verified in Madison. Also, a good deal 
of the newspaper study of local characters can be carried 
on here contemporaneously with the study that the com- 
munities are engaged upon, for in a large number of cases 
it will be found that we have files of newspapers from the 
localities under investigation. 

Another service which the home secretary at Madison 
can do will relate to the middle period atlas. This will not 
be a serious undertaking, but it will occupy at best a con- 
siderable amount of time. On its completion, an impor- 
tant study will be a comparison of the middle period atlas 
with the 1915 atlas, with a view to determining problems on 
the shifting of population, the change in size of farms, the 
substitution for American settlers of settlers of foreign 
birth, etc. The preparation of texts to accompany the 
atlas will require a large number of special studies, some of 
which can be going on continuously during the course of 
the making of the county plat books and of the catalogue 
representing our study of the social elements entering into 
the history of Wisconsin civilization. 


Joseph Schafer 


Another feature of our preparation for the future great 
history must be the preparation and pubhcation of a large 
number of monographs on special topics, the general aim 
being to digest and interpret masses of material. The work 
of collecting materials systematically in many lines such as 
phases of religious history, industrial history, agricultural 
history, educational history, biography, will involve a 
thorough study of particular institutions, men, and move- 
ments. The number and variety of the topics to be treated 
are large and as varied as are the elements entering into the 
complex of our civilization. Some of the monographic 
work ought to be done by members of the Society scattered 
over the state, and they would need the encouragement 
which always comes to a worker from the expectation that 
his results will be published. Some of it will naturally be 
done by University students in history. In their cases, 
also, a readiness on the part of the Society to publish accep- 
table papers will prove a great stimulus. Much of it will 
need to be done by specially trained investigators attached 
to the staflF. Publication activity must be kept abreast of 


In connection with the Domesday Boole there should be a 
large scale relief map of each county modeled according to 
accurate, scientific data, and representing also certain his- 
torical facts like the originally wooded or prairie character 
of the land. In the preparation of such county relief maps 
the Society will have the cooperation of the State Geological 


We shall need in order to carry out the above recom- 
mendations : 

1. A field secretary of sound historical training to (a) pre- 
pare a guide to the county archives, and (b) begin the 

The Wisconsin Domesday Book 


geo-social survey by counties. Some necessary assistance 
can be engaged in the counties under survey. 

2. A home secretary of good training to promote com- 
munity local history studies, to verify and organize the 
material sent in, and to work on the Domesday Book in 
other ways. 

3. Additional stenographic and clerical help varying in 
amount with the development of the survey. 

4. A fund for publishing the Domesday Book, which should 
be printed in parts, the material for each county con- 
stituting a part. 

5. A fund for the employment of research associates to 
prepare monographs. 

6. A fund for the publication of monographs. 

7. A fund for the preparation of county relief maps. 


The emphasis placed in this paper on the Domesday 
Book, with the activities growing out of it and supplemen- 
tary to it, must not be taken to indicate a willingness to let 
other lines of activity suffer. I have merely pointed out an 
additional object to which, as I think, the Society ought 
to devote the whole or at least the greater part of the income 
from the Burrows Fund as soon as such income begins to 
accrue. Other activities of the Society, so generously sup- 
ported by the state during the past two generations, are of 
course to go forward not merely at their customary pace, 
but with accelerated momentum. For all of those activities 
will be rendered more imperative and more purposeful by 
the new lines of development planned. The editing and 
publication of significant documentary material, the collect- 
ing of newspaper files, of maps and valuable manuscripts, 
the arranging of the papers of Wisconsin public men, the 
preparation and publication of calendars of the more signifi- 
cant collections of historical manuscripts, the preparation 


Joseph Schafer 

and publication of checklists of the public documents of 
the state, and the building up of our magnificent historical 
library are objects in which the state is too deeply inter- 
ested and to which it is too deeply pledged to permit any 
diminution of interest on the part of the Society's adminis- 
tration. In order to strengthen those lines of activity, and 
at the same time to meet the increased cost of service, 
materials, and printing, the Society cannot escape the 
necessity of calling upon the state legislature for an increase 
in the appropriation for the next biennium. 



"Old men for counsel, young men for war," runs the ancient > 
proverb. The men who saved the Union in the sixties were for 
the most part young men, thousands of them being "boys in blue" 
literally as well as figuratively. Living in the town of Dover, 
Buffalo County, on the raw Wisconsin frontier when the Civil 
War broke out was a clumsy, overgrown boy named Chauncey H. 
Cooke. Born at Columbus, Ohio, in May, 1846, he had grown 
up in the Wisconsin wilderness; sleeping by night under the shake 
shingle roof of a rude log house through which in winter the 
snow sifted freely down upon him; by day, when not engaged in 
the hard toil of the frontier farm, hunting deer and bear and 
wild fowl or fraternizing with the red children of the forest who 
still sojourned in this region. It is not strange that such a 
course of life developed in him a "constitution like a horse," and 
a physical stature beyond his years. When the call to arms came 
in the summer of 1861 young Cooke, although barely turned 
fifteen, was eager to respond to it. The next season came the 
Sioux troubles in Minnesota, and therewith the famous panic on 
the part of the people of Wisconsin which constitutes perhaps 
the most curious psychological episode in our history. But al- 
ready our Buffalo County lad, having reached the mature age of 
sixteen, had resolved to enlist, even though to accomplish this 
might necessitate the stultification of his puritan training to the 
extent of telling the mustering officer a lie about his age. Going 
down to La Crosse for this purpose in September, 1862, he was 
enrolled in Company G, Twenty -fifth Wisconsin Infantry, and 
shortly thereafter, instead of being sent to Dixie, was on his way 
northward to share in the campaign of General Pope against the 
Sioux of Minnesota. The young soldier saw no figliting in this 
campaign. However, he made his first contact with life of 
the great world outside the secluded valley in which he had 

76 Documents 

passed his boyhood hitherto; and his letters home during this ^ 
period present both an unusual view of the Indian trouble and a 
charmingly fresh and unsophisticated narrative of the reactions 
of the pioneer boy of puritan antecedents to the environment in 
which he found himself. With the passing years came a greater 
degree of sophistication, but essentially a boy our subject re- 
mained when in May, 1865, on his nineteenth birthday he was 
mustered out of the service after nearly three years' campaigning. 

The letters which we print require but little editing. Since 
the originals are no longer in existence, however, it is in order 
here to tell the pedigree of the copies we present for the enjoy- 
ment of our readers. Mr. Cooke died at his home in Mondovi 
in May, 1919. The character of citizen he was is perhaps suflS- 
ciently indicated by the fact that by common consent the business 
houses of the city closed for two hours on the day of his funeral. 
A few years earlier these letters had been printed in the Mondovi 
Herald, and fifty copies of the entire collection were struck off in 
crude booklet form with the title, "Soldier Boy's Letters to his 
Father and Mother, 1862-65." A copy of this booklet came into 
the hands of the present editor, and struck by the character of 
its contents he took up with Mr. Cooke, a few months before his 
death, the question of reprinting the letters in this magazine. 
To this end a request was made for the loan of the original letters, 
and this evoked the explanation from their author that most of 
them had been destroyed or given away to various friends. 
"Many of them," he continued, "were scrappy and illegible to 
anyone save myself, written on all sorts of paper and nearly all in | 
pencil. The soldier's portfolio case for carrying paper and pen 
and ink, usually a part of his equipment while in training quarters, 
was nearly always thrown away when real service on the march 
began. I think you will find an agreement among the old vets \ 
that any chance bit of paper picked up from rifled country stores [ 
or dwellings along the line of march was the source of supply for j 
letter paper much of the time. I am frank to admit that the 1 
printed letters are not a verbatim copy of the originals, if in any 
degree their fidelity be questioned. Where the lead was poor [ 
and letters illegible I had to improvise, or where I had sinned to 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


excess in spelling and grammar I made amendments. And in 
narration of fact or situation which seemed obscure or indefinite 
I substituted more specific language. In matter the printed 
letters are absolutely true to the originals. I invented no facts 
nor situations." 

With such a history, then, we take the letters from the booklet 
in question. But since the printer thereof apologizes for "errors 
of omission and commission" on the part of the proof reader, and 
since in any event the copies do not purport to be exact reproduc- 
tions of the originals, we have deemed it the part of good judg- 
ment to eliminate from the copies a few instances of obvious 
mistakes in printing and certain crudities of punctuation or other 
typographical style, for which the printer rather than the author 
was probably usually responsible. 

Camp Soloman, La Crosse, Wis., 
Hd. Quarters 25th Wis. Vol. Inft. 
Sept. 15th, 1862. 
Dear Parents : I am sitting on the straw in my tent with my 
paper on a trunk for a desk, this is Monday, before breakfast that 
I am writing you. This has been a very busy week for the sol- 

We did not get through mustering until last evening which as 
you know was Sunday. The mustering officer was here all day, 
and he was a fierce looking fellow. Anyhow that's the way he 
looked to us younger boys that couldn't swear we was 18. We 
had to muster in all the same, if it was Sunday. Some of the boys 
tho't it was a bad omen, and meant bad luck. We were not 
exactly mustered in because we did not get our pay, but the 
companies were drawn up in line, one at a time, and the officer 
with his hands behind his back walked along ten feet or so in 
front of the line looking every man in the face. Every one he 
suspicioned of being under 18, he would ask his age. He turned 
out a lot of them that were not quite 18. Some of them that 
might have been old enough, were getting homesick and was glad 
to get out of it by fibbing a little. Seeing how it was working 
out with the rest, I did not know what to do. I went to see our 



captain but he said he could not help me. He said his interceding 
would do no good. I saw our Chaplain and he told me to tell the 
truth, that I was a little past 16, and he tho't that when the 
mustering officer saw my whiskers he would not ask my age. 
That is what the boys all told me but I was afraid. I had about 
made up my mind to tell him I was going on 19 years, but thank 
heaven I did not have a chance to lie. He did not ask my age. 
I am all right and the boys were right. Say do you know the 
sweat was running down my legs into my boots, when that 
fellow came down the line, and I was looking hard at the ground 
fifteen paces in front. 

I suppose I am a full fledged soldier now. I have got my uni- 
form and that awful mustering officer has gone. While I am 
writing, the fife and drums are playing again; how I wish you 
could come down and see the soldiers. To see a thousand soldiers 
on regimental drill or parade is what visitors call a splendid 
sight. Hundreds of people in La Crosse come out to see us every 
evening. There was about five hundred visitors here last night 
to see us on dress parade. Gen. Pope^ got off here last Saturday 
evening and we expected to see him in camp but he did not come. 
I was in town the evening he came but my pass did not last long 
enough to see the General. But I saw some of his aids. Chester 
Ide's wife came from Mondovi yesterday. There is hundreds of 
other things I could speak of but I don't have paper or time to 
mention them. But there is one more thing I have to tell you, we 
are to start for Cincinnatti next Thursday, so if you can come 
down before that time you will find me here. 

^ General John Pope was a native of Kentucky who graduated at West Point in 1842 
and served continuously in the regular army until his retirement in 1886. In the year 
1861 and the early part of 1862 he attracted much favorable attention by his successful 
operations against the Confederate forces in Missouri. As a consequence he was sum- 
moned to Washington at the end of June and given command of the Army of Virginia, 
where in a period of several weeks of strenuous fighting he proved unequal to the task of 
coping with such opponents as Lee and Jackson and asked to be relieved of the command. 
He was now assigned to the Department of the Northwest, and under his general super- 
intendence the Sioux uprising was put down, although the actual work had been largely 
done before Pope's arrival by state volunteers under the command of Henry H. Sibley. 
Pope was an implacable foe of the Indians and desired to have several hundred of the 
captured Sioux executed under court-martial proceedings. Fortunately President Lincoln 
interposed; due to this interference the number actually executed was reduced to thirty- 
eight. A recent historian of Minnesota observes that the fate accorded those who escaped 
execution was scarcely more enviable than that of the thirty-eight who were hanged. 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


We are to get our money tomorrow and if we do I will get my 
picture taken. We got our guns yesterday. If you write at once, 
direct to La Crosse Wisconsin. 

Your loving son, 

P. S. The boys that were rejected lit out last night and took 
their uniforms with them. 

Headquarters, 25th Wise. 

La Crosse, Wis., Sept. 20, 1862. 

Dear Parents: One more week has gone and we are still in 
La Crosse. Our daily stunt is to drill four hours a day. Our 
drillmaster is a nice little fellow. He has been sent to us to drill 
us and will be made our 2nd lieutenant. He is a proud bugger in 
his brand new suit of blue with gold cord on his legs and shoulder 
straps ai:id he walks so darn straight he leans backward. But 
he's a good one. 

There is not a man but would be too glad if we had orders to 
march for Dixie tomorrow. Its awful tiresome staying here doing 
nothing. It's harder work than farming. The Governor tele- 
graphed to the Colonel of the regiment yesterday that we were 
liable to get orders to go up the river to Fort Snelling by boat 
and sent into the Sioux Indian country. There is a boy 14 years 
old here in camp, who came from above St. Paul, whose father 
was murdered by the Indians ten rods from him last week. The 
boy escaped by crawling under a bridge and waiting till a team 
came along. He came to St. Paul and worked his way down on a 
steamboat to this place. 

I haven't been homesick a minute. I like drilling pretty well 
and our Bob, that is the name of our lieutenant, says we step up 
like regulars. Please excuse these short letters. Tell George 
Wooster to write and I will answer him. Also tell sister Do to add 
a line when you write. 

Is she catching any fish these days? I hope trapping will be 
good this fall so father can make a little extra change. Are the 
pigeons in the stubble like they were last fall when I shot 19 at 
one crack? My goodness, how I would like a j^igeon pot pie. 
Tell father he will find a lot of shot in the old leather knife ease on 



that shelf in the entry way. They are some I bought last year 
when Fred Rosman and I were going to get rich shooting prairie 
chickens and selling them to the steamboats. I wish we could get 
our money so I could come home a few days. I suppose you got 
my picture. How do I look as a soldier .^^ I tell you it looks 
military like to see the fellows in their regulation blue. 

Write often as you can conveniently, anything from home 
seems good. 


P. S. I have reopened this letter to say we have orders to 
report at once to St. Paul. I think we will start in the morning. 
Don't write till I can give you my address. \ 

La Crosse, Wis., Sept. 21, 1862. 

Dear Mother: 

I wrote you yesterday we had orders to report to St. Paul to 
fight the Sioux Indians, in Minnesota. Sure enough we are pack- 
ing things and will leave here in the morning on the big sidewheel 
steamer ;S^. Paul for up river. Some of the boys are mad and some 
are glad. Some say they did not enlist to fight Indians but to 
fight rebels, but military orders must be obeyed. If I thought 
the young Sioux chief who has been to our place so many times 
with his hunting party who was so good to us, letting us have elk 
meat and venison for a little of nothing, I should not like to think 
of shooting at them. I remember father said, if a few Indian 
contractors were scalped, there would be no trouble. I read last 
night in the paper a letter from Bishop Whipple of Minnesota, 
who said the government had not kept its promise with the 
Indians, that they had no blankets and no rations of beef, and 
that was the reason they went on the warpath. The bow and 
arrows the chief's son gave me, I wish you would see that they 
are not lost. I don't believe Indian John stole Mr. Cripp's gun. 
He is a good Indian and if he is not killed in the war he will bring 
it back. 

I will finish this in the morning. 

Sept. 21st. I am sitting on the hurricane deck of the *S^. Paul 
steamer where our Company has been assigned for the trip to 
Fort Snelling. We were an hour filing on board the boat this 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


morning. Everybody is feeling good. Some of them are happier 
than they ought to be. Bill Anderson and some of the Mondovi 
boys are pretty well loaded. Chet Ide doesn't drink, but he is 
laughing louder at the fellows who do drink. Gile Bump of 
Mondovi and I crawled under the ledge over the cabin to get in 
the shade. The boat has an awful load. 

A thousand men with all the fixtures and equipment. There 
is not room to lie down ! The band is kept pretty busy. When- 
ever we pass a boat or reach a town the band pounds and blows 
for all it's worth. The women and girls wave their handkerchiefs, 
and every fellow thinks it's meant for him. I'll bet there never 
was so jolly a crew on this boat before. When the boat stopped 
at Winona some of the boys took a high dive from the top of the 
wheelhouse into the river. I never thought they would come 
up again but they did, and swam back to the yawl and climbed 
into that and were pulled up by ropes onto the boiler deck. We 
have just passed Fountain City and I must close this letter so as 
to mail it at Alma. The boat stops at every town, but no soldier 
is allowed to step off the boat. We have just passed a raft and 
the way the logs teeter in the waves is a wonder. The fellows 
shake their fists and yell dirty, hoodlum stuff, but the boys in 
blue give it back to them in plenty. 

Tell Elder Morse's folks that Henry is well and spoiling for a 


Dear Mother. — I missed the Alma boat and so I'll add a 
few lines more. We reached St. Paul and everybody was on the 
shore to greet us. They are mighty glad to have soldiers come 
as the Indians are gathering in big forces, and there may be 
bloody times. After waiting for orders we steamed on to Fort 
Snelling six miles above, and after landing in the bushes at the 
mouth of the Minnesota River, we climbed the higli bhiff where tlie 
Fort is located. They call this fort the American Gibraltar, if 
you can guess the meaning, steep wall nearly around it, and some 
big black cannons pointing in all directions. 

I tell you those cannons have a wicked look. They iwv the 
first I have ever seen. I have just discovered T have a two- 



dollar counterfeit bill, so I am on half rations for money. We got 
our knapsacks this evening, and expect to start up the Minnesota 
and Mississippi Rivers to hunt Indians in a day or two. 

Wish you would make me a pair of two fingered mittens, it 
would save me $1 . 50; make them out of thin buckskin. There is 
a lot of buck Indians in the stone jail of the fort, who are guarded. 
They are some of the ringleaders, who incited the massacre. One 
of them looks just like One Eye, who staid around our place so 


Direct to Co. G., Ft. Snelling. 

St. Cloud, Minn., Oct. 2, 1862. 
Co. G. 25th Regt. 

Dear Parents: 

In my last I wrote you of our arrival at Fort Snelling and that 
we were to march into the Indian Country in a day or two. Fort 
Snelling is a fine place and I hadn't got tired of it when orders 
came to divide our Regiment, the right wing to go up the Minne- 
sota River and the left wing up the Mississippi. Our Co. is in the 
left wing so we came up the Mississippi River. The first night 
after quitting Ft. Snelling we camped in the edge of Minneapolis, 
a pretty town at the Falls of St. Anthony. St. Anthony, just 
across the river, has some nice big buildings and is the biggest 
place. It was awfully hot the day we left the fort and our extra 
blankets and belts full of ammunition made a load. But we felt 
good and after supper I scuffled with Casper Meuli and Max 
Brill till bed time. I know father advised me not to do any 
wrestling, but a fellow can't say no all the time. A lot of us 
rolled up in our blankets under the trees on the bank of a creek 
with no tents that night. A lot of women or girls from town came 
into camp and walked over us as if we were logs. I thot they were 
pretty fresh. Some of the older soldiers talked pretty plain to 
them but they didn't seem to care. After awhile they were 
ordered away and then we went to sleep. The next night and 
the night after I slept in barns on the hay. The people seemed to 
be Germans but they were good and gave us all they had of milk 
and bread. The boys would gather like pigs round a milk pan, 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


three or four drinking at the same time. We came into St. Cloud 
last night. We crossed the Mississippi here. It isn't the mighty 
stream here that it is at Alma, I could throw a stone across and 
hit a dog up here. These people gave us a warm welcome. Some 
of our boys came down with the measles and will go into hospital 
quarters until they get well. I have a queer sort of feeling, 
perhaps its measles with me. You know I never was sick. When 
the surgeon examined me in La Crosse he hit me a slap and told 
me I had a constitution like a horse. I told him my living for 
some years had been buck meat, beaver's tails and bear flesh. 
He said, "You are a tough one, that is plain to see." I am sitting 
on a big rock on the bank of the Mississippi. It seems strange 
that this clear, beautiful stream is the same yellow, broad river 
that runs so near my home. As I write I am using a fine-tooth 
comb and I am finding bugs. I don't know where I got them, but 
I've got them. I was ashamed to be seen combing in camp so I 
came down behind the big rocks by the river. The other boys 
must have them. No Indians yet. The old settlers tell us the 
buffaloes were here but a few years ago. I have seen some of their 
horns, sharp, black wicked things. Their trails can be seen on the 
prairies and along the river banks. I remember father saying 
the buffaloes and Indians would disappear about the same time. 
Pot hunters would slay the buffaloes for their skins, and the white 
man's whiskey was as surely slaying the Indian. Tomorrow we 
take up our march to Richmond, twenty miles away. I will write 
you then. 

Your son 


P. S. Tell father not to brag so much on Webster as a speller. 
I know I am not in his class quite, but I have bought me a pocket 
dictionary and I am studying it every day. Our Chaplain came 
along last night and saw me with it. He stopped and looked at it; 
well, he said it is next thing to a testament anyhow. 

Good bye. 



St. Cloud Hospital, St. Cloud, Minn. 
Oct. 20th, 1862. 
Dear Mother, Father and All the Rest. 

I am writing you from a sick bed propped up on the back of a 
chair made soft with pillows. You must think it strange that you 
have got no letters these three weeks but if you knew how fear- 
fully sick I have been you would understand. I have been a 
mighty sick boy with the measles all this time in a big room in the 
city building along with ten other of my comrades. Three others 
of my Co. are here. Andy Adams, one of my chums from Mon- 
dovi, is one of them and he has been very sick. I tell you mother 
it is a terrible thing to be sick among strangers anyway. I've 
tho't of home and you so many times. Maybe if I had ever been 
sick before it would not have seemed so bad, but I want to tell 
you my dear mother, I never want to be sick away from you. 
The women of the town came in every day to give nice things 
to eat and make lemonade for us but they were all strange and 
new ones came nearly every day. They were kind, of course but 
O, I don't know. I felt if they were thinking more of their nice 
clothes and how fine they looked than of us. They wouldn't give 
me all the water I wanted, and I was always so thirsty. I just 
dreamed all the time. I don't want to talk like a baby, mother, 
and the boys say, "Don't write any bad news to your father and 
mother," but you have always told me I should tell the truth 
and I believe its all right. God knows I never felt before what 
it meant to have a good home and a kind father and dear mother. 
And for these nearly three weeks on my back, I have thought of 
you all more than a hundred times. What a nice thing is a good 
home. Don't think I am homesick, mother, you know I can say 
all these things and still not be homesick. When a fellow is sick 
and all broke up he can't help saying soft things. But I know if 
you had been here or I had been there I should not be where I 
am. Some of the fellows here are awful rough in their talk. They 
wasn't very sick and they are joking me and a young fellow in 
Co. E. because we are talking so much about our home and our 
mothers. I don't deny that I long to see my dear mother, and 
when the tears come into his eyes I know the poor boy that lays 
next to me is thinking of home too. 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


Don't think for a minute, mother, that I am dying. I am 
getting better and in a few days will rejoin my Co., which is now 
at Richmond, about 20 miles from here. It will seem like going 
home almost, to get back to my dear old Company. The nights 
are getting freezing cold and they tell me the lakes are covered 
with ice, and lately I dreamed of laying on my stomach and drink- 
ing cold icewater through the air holes. I suppose it's because I 
am always so dry. 

They say that a few days ago three hundred soldiers came 
down from Ft. Abercrombie, 130 miles from here. They left 
everything quiet; in fact the Indian war seems at an end unless 
the upper Sioux turn on us. 

Colonel Sibley^ has recovered all the white prisoners and 
nearly 2,000 Indian prisoners. The question seems to be whether 
to let the Sioux remain or drive them from the homes of their 
ancestors into some western reservation. It seems likely that 
they will be driven away. Mother, this whole Indian question 
is wrong. Lying on my sick bed here, I can't help thinking of the 
wrongdoing of the government toward the Indians. I am losing 
heart in this war against the Indians. When you come to think 
that all this beautiful country along the Minnesota River was 
bought for 2 cents an acre and that the government still owes 
them this pitiful sum for it, I am sorry for them. The boys tell 
me I am no better than an Indian when I talk about it, but I 
can't help it. God made this country and gave it to the Indians. 
After a while along comes Columbus with his three cockleshell 
boats, takes possession of all the continent in the name of the 
Almighty, Queen Isabella of Spain, and the Indians are treated as 
wild beasts. I often think as I have heard father say, "if this is 
the spirit of the present Christianity, God will damn it." 

2 Henry Hastings Sibley was born in Detroit in 1811 and spent practically his whole 
life on the frontier. He early engaged in the fur trade and in 1835 located at Mendota, at 
the mouth of the Minnesota River, where he built the first house in modern Minnesota. 
Here he lived until 1862, when he removed to St. Paul. Mr. Sibley was largely instrmncn- 
tal in securing the erection of Minnesota Territory and he served as its delegate in (\>n- 
gress from 1849 to 1853. He was elected first governor of the state, serving from 1858 to 
1860; in 1862 he was commissioned by Governor Ramsey to take charge of the state trt>ops 
in the Sioux War. By his wise and energetic course he succee<led in largely suppressing 
the outbreak and rescuing the captive whites when the federal govenunont in response to 
urgent appeals by the state authorities sent General Pope to take charge of the situation. 



I don't expect we will have a brush with the Indians unless we 
go farther west. The boys at Richmond are having good times, 
hunting deer and bear and catching fish. The lakes are clear and 
cool and full of fish. 

We don't know where we are to winter, likely as not just where 
we are. My dear mother I am out of money. I haven't got the 
three dollars yet I wrote for the last time. I got to borrow a 
stamp to send this letter, but its alright. Mother, how does the 
new house come on? Have you got in it yet.^^ Have you dug the 
potatoes yet? Does brother W. kill many prairie chickens this 
fall, or hasn't he got any ammunition? Has father got the stable 
plastered up warm? The blue clay in the bottom of the creek is 
all right for that. 

Mother, don't you hate to leave the dear old cabin this winter 
for the new house? I love to think of that best of beds under 
those long, oak shingles, warped and twisted, that let in the rain 
and snow in my face. I would give all this world if I owned it, if 
I could sleep there tonight. Did the corn get ripe? Has father 
broke the colts? Has brother W. broke the steers so they can 
haul things? How is Father Cartwright? Has father killed 
any game this fall, what is it? Mother, as to the money I sent 
home, I want you or father to use it for anything you want. All 
I want is the first payment on that land so that is clear I don't 
care for the rest. You must get some apple trees if you have not 
already, and get a stand of bees. You ought to raise your own 
honey. I would like very much to hear from you mother. I 
haven't heard from home since I left La Crosse, I do not com- 
plain. There may be letters somewhere for me. Remember 
mother, a letter in your own handwriting. Love to all, to your- 
self, father, brothers and sister. 

Your soldier boy. 

New Richmond, Minn., 
Hd. Quarters Co., G. 25th Regt. 
Wis., Vol. Inft., October 28th. 
Dear Folks at Home: Since my last you see I have made a 
change. I am now with the company at New Richmond. Andy 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


Adams of Mondovi and one of the Mann brothers and myself 
came up in one of the Wells Fargo stages. The captain ordered 
us to the hotel as he tho't we was not strong enough for camp 
yet. I got your last letter the day before we left St. Cloud and 
what you told me about exposing myself after having the measles 
scared me just a bit. I had been walking about for three days and 
when I crossed the streets the wind was cold and so strong it 
would nearly throw me down and I had nothing but my summer' 
drawers. Our women nurses didn't warn us a bit, but told me 
I should go out and get strength. I was glad enough to get out 
doors once more. I think I am getting all right. I was pretty 
sick the doctor told me, just as if I didn't know my own feelings. 
The Ladies' Aid Society was real kind. One old lady who did 
not belong to the society would come nearly every day with 
some sour candy and give it to all of us because our mouths 
tasted bad of the fever. She said she had a dear boy some- 
where in the South and she hoped someone would be good to her 
boy if he got sick. 

I tell you it seemed awful good to see the faces of my old 
chums. I had been away from them nearly four weeks and it 
seemed that many months. 

They are busy building log houses to winter in. They are 
building 18 houses for store buildings and quarters. It is getting 
cold and the weather makes them hustle. The boys are still in 
tents tho it is freezing every night. The rest of the left wing 
have gone up to Paynesville to winter, four companies. I woke 
up this morning with a pain in my stomach. I told Elder Har- 
wood of it and he told me not to eat any more biscuit before going 
to bed. We have a nice hotel and lots to eat and I am hungry 
all the time. They give us wild rice, bo't of the Indians, twice a 
day, and it is good. The Landlord said it was nearly gone and 
the Indians were gone and he didn't know when he could get any 
more. I like to hear him talk about the Indians. He said thoy 
had been cheated and lied to by the government contractors, 
and that bro't on all the trouble. He said he lived amongst them 
all his life and they were good people unless they were drunk. 



I have lost fifteen and a half pounds in weight the three weeks 
past. I forgot to tell you I found a letter from you dated the 10th 
here in the Captain's hands. He forgot to send it to me. I am 
glad father has such good luck killing deer and bear this fall. 
Thank goodness old dog Prince was close by when the bear made 
that rush for father. He no doubt saved father's life. I hope 
the poor dog's jaw is not broken. The bear's jaw of course was 
too strong for him. Don't skim the milk for dear old Prince, 
give it to him with the cream on until he can eat meat. 
We have bear and deer close to this place but you will believe me, I 
would dearly like to be with father in his hunts, long enough at 
least to help him kill two or three fat bears. 

Don't fear but I will be careful dear mother of my health, 
you scared me when you explained about cousin Ben's death a 
month after he got up from the measles. I have had the measles, 
and "theys done gone" as Topsey said, in Uncle Tom's Cabin. 

Rumors of Indians coming back on the war path is the talk 
among the boys in the hotel tonight. The sky is all lighted up 
some ten miles away by prairie fires tonight. The boys say it 
means Indians. My room is about 8 by 10 feet and the light 
from the prairie fire makes a shadow on the wall. Some of the 
boys talk like they wanted dreadfully to get into a scrimmage 
with the Sioux. It must be I aint a good soldier, I dont think it 
is fear, but I am all the time thinking of One Eye and his son 
and wife that came to our house so many times to get flour and 
coffee, and the times I played with their boys and sat on their 
buffalo robes and ate elk steak and venison steak by their wigwam 
fires. You know we wondered that they never came back any 
more, and father said they were afraid of their lives because the 
Dacotas and Minnesota Sioux had declared war and to save their 
lives they had gone west. 

I don't deny that I sometimes think of Owena, the Chief's 
daughter that father plagued me about, and wonder where she is. 

Bishop Whipple^ says the government has never kept its word 

' Henry Benjamin Whipple was born and educated in New York; in 1859 he was con- 
secrated first bishop of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota. He acquired great influence 
among the Sioux and Ojibway and by them was given a name meaning "Straight Tongue." 
In the face of much popular opposition he maintained a friendly stand toward the Sioux 
at the time of the troubles of 1862 and emphasized the responsibility of the whites for the 
trouble through oflScial neglect and misdoing on the part of individuals. 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


of payment for the land and the rations promised the Indians. 
That man Whipple must be another William Penn. He has 
always been the Indian's friend in Minnesota. I read in the 
Sentinel yesterday that he had visited the White House in Wash- 
ington and plead with President Lincoln with tears in his eyes 
that the government should pay these Sioux their promised an- 
nuity and that would stop the war. Why don't they do it? I am 
a white man's son and I like my own people but I can never 
forget what Chief One Eye told me in his wigwam on the Three 
Mile Creek that the white chief at Washington was a liar because 
they never got their annuity and their beef was tough and unfit 
to eat. 

I hope father will not sell my 40 even at a hundred dollars 
profit. I like Wisconsin best of all yet. 

They are all in bed but me, so good night. 

Your boy, 


New Richmond, Minn. 
Co. G. 25th Regt. 

Nov. 4th, 1862. 

Dear sister Doe: Your favor of Oct. 25th rec'd yesterday. It 
seemed so good to me that I read it over twice before stopping. 
I am just like other soldiers I suppose, crazy to get letters from 
dear ones at home. I wrote mother only a day or two ago but 
that makes no difference, I am glad for an excuse to write home. 
I told mother that I did not expect to leave St. Cloud for some 
days but we left the next day in one of those big Wells Fargo 
coaches you told me so much about. We had four horses on the 
coach and they trotted nearly all the way, 20 miles, to this place. 
I found the boys fat as pigs except them that were sick with 
measles. Some ten or a dozen were sick. 

You said you received $10 in one of my letters. I sent $30 
altogether in the two letters. I also sent my clothes. Did 
you get them? 

It is now quite certain we will winter here as they have com- 
menced building cabins. It is about 225 miles from home, just a 
nice sleigh ride. 



I could get home for about $7 but that would buy a good many 
things you need this coming winter, and maybe I could not get 
away. Be good enough to send me the Tribune or the Milwaukee 
Sentinel. We don't have anything here to read but Dutch papers. 
I want to get some papers or books this winter and maybe you 
better send me a few dollars. I was too good when I sent the last 
money to father and I shall be short before my next pay day 
which is in December. I am real glad you are making such 
headway in your books. You are father's girl alright. Do you 
know, sister, I used to think father was a curious kind of person 
because he differed with so many people, and I didn't know 
what to think about it, but I know now our father is a sensible 
man. He opened my eyes about this Indian question which I am 
finding every day to be true, and I believe his opinion about the 
slave-holders to be just as true. I cannot forget his words in the 
grove at Rufus Fuller's when we started for Alma after that big 
dinner. He said, "Be true to your country my boy, and be true 
to the flag, but before your country or the flag be true to the 
slave." I never saw tears in father's eyes before. 

I am still in the tavern. I bought some packs the other day 
and paid $3 for them, a big price but I had to have them. Tell 
father to pick up a chopper if he can find one and set him to work 
at my expense in the big timber over northeast. We need a lot 
more rails. We need to keep dark about timber until we get some 
logs out of it. Cut the logs and mark them together and I will 
split them myself if I ever get back. Nobody knows of the 
timber but Mr. Amidon and nobody will ever touch it. Mr. 
Amidon got a dozen or so logs there last winter for the mill. 
I counted the stumps last spring when I speared those beaver 
there last spring. 

Poor old dog Prince and I had a lot of fun on that creek. How is 
Prince getting on from that fight with that bear.^^ I wish father 
would be more careful in shooting at bears. Prince may not 
always be near by to lock jaws with the black devils. I often 
think of the night I slept with Prince in my arms in Traverse 
Valley. The fire had gone out and it was dark as tar. When a 
fox would bark he would tremble and raise his head and growl. 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


When that deer snorted in the brush and run he nearly scared me 
to death as he jumped out from the blanket and run after him. 
Give the old dog a hug for me. There is lots of game here and I 
wish I had old Prince with me. 

Obed Hilliard and I have bought a lot of traps and as soon as 
I get strong I am going to set them. The boys have shot a lot 
of rats and minks with their muskets. 

The news came just now that McClellan had captured 30,000 
rebs and had cornered the rest of Lee's army, and the war was at 
an end. We hear things like this nearly every day. Nobody be- 
lieves it. 

Your brother, 


Ft. Wildcat, Richmond, Minn. 
Nov. 10th, 1862. 
Dear Mother: I believe my last was writen to Doe, anyway 
I will write this time to you. I like letters from father and Sister 
Doe, too, awful well, but if you could hear what I hear every day 
about things and persons at home, you would hear the fathers 
talked about and you would hear that the sisters and brothers 
were nice people, but the mothers in the daily talk of the soldiers 
are the best persons in the world. Well now this may sound like 
I am homesick but I ain't. I was going to say, we are to have 
inspection of arms in a little while and I tho't I w^ould put in the 
time until then writing. The snow fell to the depth of 5 inches 
last night and the woods this forenoon was full of soldiers hunting 
deer. A bear was seen by one of the boys but nothing but some 
partridges and rabbits was killed. Until day before yesterday 
the lakes were full of ducks and geese. I never saw so many 
ducks. The boys have killed lots of them. I purchased a pair of 
moccasins, paid $3 . 50 for them, a big price but had to have them. 
I want to do some shooting pretty soon. The orderly has in- 
formed us that there will be no inspection of arms. I noticed in 
the Sentinel that Gilmanton was exempt from draft. Tluvt is all 
the Gilmanton folks wanted, so they said. Now we will see how 
much those moneyed ones will give now that they are in no 



danger of draft. I was out on drill day before yesterday, the first 
time in six weeks. 

The cabins are nearly done and I shall be glad to get out of the 
hotel with the boys although I like things here. The commissary 
building is full of beef, pork, and flour and good things to eat. 
The company will be divided into squads with a cook for each 
squad. Obed Hilliard is the cook for our squad, Obe and I are in 
partnership in trapping. The lakes and the Sioux River that 
runs by our camp are full of mink and rats. I found a big black 
mink in a trap of one of the other boys last night just below camp. 
His hide was worth $8. I was half tempted to take him out. 
The boys are playing just these tricks every day on each other. 
I nearly forgot to tell you I had bowel trouble the other day and 
Sergeant McKay gave me a dose of burnt whiskey. It was the 
first whiskey I ever drank. It helped my bowel trouble and I sup- 
pose from what the boys tell me it made me do some strange 
things. Men Bump and Chet Ide of Mondovi have been laughing 
at me and telling me that I was a shame to old topers that I talked 
stuff and got out Bill Hill's drum and pounded it. Anyway I am 
alright now. I have no more news to write this time. Mr. Ball 
sends his respects to Mr. Cartwright, and Mr. McKay sends his 
regards to father. 

I was just closing this letter when one of the boys came into 
my room and told me the Indians were burning Paynesville, 
where the other four companies of the left wing are posted. 
I went to the window and sure enough there was a big light on 
the sky in the direction of Paynesville. I have been waiting 
a half hour for later news. If it meant Indians I knew we would 
be notified by courier. As we have heard nothing it means just 
a prairie fire, so good night mother. 

Your loving boy, 

Richmond, Minn., 
Nov. 20, 1862. 

Dear Parents: — 

I had no letters the past week but look for one this afternoon. 
Things go on rather quiet most of the time. Our log shanties are 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


all finished and I am now with the boys. I'll tell you, I am keeping 
a diary and I will give you a copy of it for a week in this letter:— 

Nov. 10 — Took a shave today. One of the boys said my beard 
made me look like a goat. Had my first dinner at the shanty, 
Obe is a good cook. Supply train loaded with provisions went by 
for Sauk Center and Paynesville. Some men, trappers I guess, 
from the Red River country went toward St. Cloud, they stopped 
for dinner. Said all was quiet in the up country. They wore 
leggins like Indians and their stories if true, made them out more 
savage. According to their talk all Indians are red devils. 

Nov. 11 — nice Indian summer day, a smoky, hazy, dreamy 
day. Took my gun and went rat hunting. Shot five but got only 
four. Came back to camp hungry as a dog. Had a glorious sup- 
per of beef, bread, potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pie. 

A big supply train bound for Fort Abercrombie pulled in for 
the night. Gen. Pope has ordered all infantry south. We may 
get to see Dixie yet. Hurrah! Snow all gone and big prairie 
fires to the east tonight. 

Nov. 12 — No letter from home today, plague on it. Wrote 
one to George Wooster. Beautiful weather. Men Bump just 
from St. Cloud reports another one of the boys dead from measles. 
I believe I am all right except my wind ain't quite so good on a 
long double quick. Nothing to do, went out and shot a rat. Some 
of the lakes are covered with rat houses thick as hay cocks and as 
big. Sold my hides for 10 cents a piece. Boys trying their guns 
at a mark, found a great deal of fault with them. I found some 
papers at the hotel called The Dacota Friend, that I have 
been reading. They were left by a woman who had been stopping. 
This paper was a missionary paper for the Indians and had letters 
in it from Bishop Whipple. He is certainly a good man. I read 
some of his letters about the honesty of the Indians when the white 
man was honest with them. It made me think of good old One 
Eye and his band that came so many times to our place. I 
spoke of Bishop Whipple to the trappers and what he said of 
their honesty, but they said Whipple was an old woman in 

Nov. 13 — I dreamed last night of One Eye's band, of the boys 
that I played with, and when we got hungry how we went to Chief 



Charley's tepee and found his mother cleaning the entrails of a 
beaver which she intended for soup. The boy talked to her in 
Sioux and she unfolded some buckskins and a robe or two and gave 
us a big hunk of elk steak. We put it on the fire and she went back 
to her job of dressing the beaver guts. In my dreams I saw the 
beautiful buffalo robes we lay upon while our steak was roasting. 
I could even smell them just as they smelt four years ago. 

In this miserable Indian war I often wonder what has become 
of Lightfoot (father gave him that name because he could beat 
me in a race) and of his brothers and of Owena. They promised 
to come back in the fall of 1860 when they broke camp the spring 
before two miles below us but they never came. I haven't lived 
long, but long enough to think this is a strange world. When I 
think of the Indians and remember how good they were to me 
and my father and mother, and reading in this Dacota Friend 
paper how the traders have made them drunk in order to cheat 
them, and how the government bought 35,000,000 acres of them 
and has been owing them for it against their promise for thirty 
years, and because they were starving and broke into a warehouse 
for food, and this brought on a war. I am for the Indians as much 
as the whites. 

Nov. 14 — Cold and freezing this morning. A cannon from 
Fort Abercrombie came by this morning. They fired it a few 
times just for fun. Obed Hilliard and I went hunting, shot five 
rats, one partridge, and one rabbit. On return to camp found a 
supply train in corral near us and 300 cavalry as guard. The 
fife and drum were out tonight, in honor of our guests I suppose. 
The visitors have some big fires going tonight and the crowds 
around them are very happy. The cavalry men who have been 
on the frontier are full of Indian yarns. I don't like their talk. 
If half they tell about their own rascally tricks is true, there is 
plenty of reason for the Indians to fight and fight to the death. 

Nov. 15 — There was quite a wild time last night. Some beer 
was stolen from the saloon and farmers came in this morning 
claiming soldiers stole their chickens. The cavalry did it. Our 
boys denied it and I am sure they told the truth. The cavalry 
made quite a show as they dashed off after the wagon train. I 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


went to church today, the first time in a long while. Cold and 
freezing tonight. I nearly froze my fingers on dress parade. 

Nov. 16 — ^Everything froze tight this morning. This has been 
a lonesome day. Molasses was rationed out, the first since we 
came. It run awful slow. Drilled this afternoon. Snow began 
falling while we were drilling. The Colonel arrived from Paynes- 
ville. I have been reading all the evening in Bishop Whipple's 
paper. The Dacota Friend. I have made up my mind the Indians 
are not to blame for this war. It is the traders, the contractors, 
the trappers, and the Indian agents. O, the injustice of the strong 
against the weak in this world. 

Nov. 17-18 — ^Went hunting deer, no luck at all. I shall let 
the deer go to grass hereafter and hunt for rabbits only. Late 
this afternoon had a tilt snowballing. The boys had a lively 
time dodging my balls. They didn't know I had kept a pile of 
stones at every fence corner for years for blackbirds, and that a 
blackbird's head at ten steps was an easy mark. The ice on the 
Sioux is fine. Bought a pair of skates and had a little fun on 
them. There is a big farmer, a Swede, three miles up river with a 
nice family of boys and girls. If the ice is good, will go up there 
in the morning. 

Nov. 19 — Was on the river skating all the forenoon. Ice not 
quite safe on the rapids. Several of the boys on a drunk. Had 
quite a scrap but no one much hurt. Had a spelling school 
tonight. Word came late tonight that we were to go south in a 
week, hope it is true. 

. Your boy, 


Nov. 21 — ^Went out to visit my traps and found several of 
them frozen in. Found four rats in the traps set in the houses. 
Most of the traps in the run ways except in springy places were 
frozen in . Caught a mink near the bridge over the Sioux in a little 

This afternoon skated three miles up the river to the house of 
a Swede who is one of the first settlers in this county. He has a 
big family of boys and rosy-cheeked girls. 



I ate a late dinner with them. He was a great talker and told 
me a lot about the wild times he saw when he first struck the 
country. He was a friend to the Indians. They always camped 
near his house when trapping up and down the Sioux River, in the 
fall and spring. 

This man told me the war began by a dog biting an Indian. 
The Indian shot the dog and the whites shot the Indian and a 
band of the Sisseton Sioux hearing of this and nearly starved for 
government rations that never came, broke into a government 
warehouse and from this the war started that has cost the nation, 
so the papers say, round 40 million of dollars. This man told me 
he never lost a cent by a sober Indian. He had a room in his 
house called the Indian room where he always put them in the 
winter when they called. They preferred to sleep in tepees in 
the fall and spring when they came to trap for furs and to gather 
wild rice. They were the Santee Sioux, the band that One 
Eye and Chief Charley belonged to. He showed me a buffalo 
trail on a steep hillside leading down to the river, which he said 
had been worn for a hundred years. 

He said the Indians never killed a friend if they knew it. The 
whites were more revengeful, they shot at every Indian, good and 
bad. He told me a lot more I can't write down. When I left for 
camp tonight it was dark. I looked at a few of the traps I had 
set but found nothing. 

I believe I am as much of an Indian, as the boys say, as white 
man and I can't deny it. I am awfully tired tonight. 

Nov. 22 — I heard this morning that Little Crow, Chief of the 
Sioux had committed suicide. If it is true it is because he has lost 
faith in the great "white Chief" at Washington and the broken 
promises of the government. There are some things in this war 
that make me feel that I am an infidel. Why does God crush all 
these poor Indians and give it all to the white because he has 
wealth. They owned this land from ocean to ocean by the best 
title on earth given by God himself and yet because we are 
stronger we drive them away from the homes of their fathers and 
the graves of their ancestors and claim that Christ is on our side. 

I have been studying the Dacota Friend the woman left here 
in the hotel, and I believe there is something terribly wrong in 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


this war. I know the Indians have been wronged and mistreated. 
But what can a fellow like me do? I could not eat any supper 
tonight and I dared not tell the boys what I was thinking about. 
I knew they would joke me and make fun of me. I feel that Obed 
Hilliard is nearer to me than any of the boys and yet he says the 
Indians ought to be shot. I seem to think different from any of 
them. I may not be right but I can't help it. I know I think as 
Bishop Whipple does that all the wrong in this war is on the side 
of the whites. I am sleepy and it is ten o'clock. 

Nov. 23. — The landlord of the hotel gave me to understand 
this morning that I could not use any more of his writing paper, 
as I had left the house for the camp. Of course it's all right but 
it bothers me because I can't write where the boys are bothering. 
We had a drill this forenoon. The captain said we would get pay 
tomorrow and I am glad. I have two pages in my memoranda of 
debit and credit accounts to be settled. 

Nov. 24 — Marching orders to be in readiness to start for Fort 
Snelling, I guess it's a go this time. The notice came last night 
and all my traps are set miles away on the river and lakes. Obie 
said when the moon comes up tonight if you will gather in the 
traps I'll do the other work. 

It was after midnight when I got back with all the traps and 
my light is the only one burning as I write this last word. 

Nov. 25 — ^It was a lonely trip I made last night up the river 
and over the lakes picking up traps. I thought of so many 
things on that trip and I was not quite satisfied that Obe asked 
me to get the traps alone but I made the trip just the same. In 
the woods between the lakes where the moon shone in spots under 
the pine trees I thought I saw figures of Indians but I would 
brace up and walk right up to them and I always found them 
stumps or trees. I can't say I was really afraid, but I was miles 
away in an Indian country and sometimes my heart would pump 
a little hard. 

Final orders to begin our return march to Fort Snelling near 
St. Paul came late last night. We were up bright and early. 
Some of the boys said they were fixing all night to got ready. I 
was hard to wake, because I had gone to bed so late after my 



night's jaunt gathering in my traps. I had paid a dollar and a 
quarter a piece for the traps, and the merchant said I had had 
such bad luck, he would take them back at cost and charge me 
$2 for the use of them. I thanked him from the bottom of my 
heart as I had expected a much harder deal. Some of the fellows, 
one or two from Mondovi had spent a good part of the night at 
one of the saloons just across the Sioux River and they were 
singing "Dixie" and "Johnny comes marching home" long before 
the morning drum beat. I was scared for a moment thinking that 
the march had commenced when I heard them singing, but hear- 
ing my chum snoring at my side, I went to sleep again. 

All the forenoon its been Dixie, Dixie. A lot of the nearby 
settlers came in to see the boys go away. Some of them said its 
all right for us to go south, they weren't afraid any more the 
Indians had been scared away, others wished we would stay. 
I think there were four or five pretty girls from the Sioux River 
that felt sorry for reasons of their own to see the boys go away. 
It was near noon when we started out in hit or miss order for 
St. Cloud. We straggled into St. Cloud late in the evening. 
Every fellow looked out for his own sleeping quarters. It was 
cold. The Captain said, "Get the best quarters you can." I 
slept under the flap of a tent between barrels rolled up in two 
blankets with a freezing west wind like so much cold water 
pouring over my face all night. I was awakened in the morning 
by that song so dear to the south, Dixie. I would think more of 
what the song means, if the fellows had their heads. 

We have been late this morning, November twenty-sixth, in 
starting. I have put in the time writing my notes. 

Nov. 26 — I am tired tonight; marched all day with heavy 
overcoat, haversack, gun, and two big blankets. I made but 18 
miles and when it began to get dark I dropped out of the squad 
I was with and went to a private house where I saw a light shining 
among the trees. A young woman and child were the only 
persons there. She told me her husband had gone to the war 
and she was carrying on the farm alone with a little help her 
brother gave her who came once in a while. She told me she had 
but one bed in the house but I was welcome if I could sleep on the 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


lounge in the kitchen. I asked to sleep on the floor, but she said, 
"No." I told her where I slept the night before and she just 
looked at me without saying a word. She asked me why my 
mother let me go into the army when I was so young. When I 
told her I tried to get my mother's consent a year before, she 
said, "O, you must be a crazy fellow." 

Nov. 27 — I was up and on the road this morning by daylight. 
I was anxious to catch up with the boys I knew were ahead of me. " 
To tell the whole truth, I shed a few tears because I could not 
keep up with the crowd. Obed had told me and Sergeant McKay 
that I was not over the effects of the measles and that I should 
take it easy. Father wrote me too, before leaving the hotel at 
Richmond, "Be patient and not try to do too much, you will need 
to save your strength for months." Just the same I am mad that 
the boys are going to beat me to St. Paul. 

Nov. 28th — ^Fort Snelling, Minn. Arrived this noon. A few 
of the company still here, most of them come and gone. The 
right wing of our Reg't came down the Minnesota some days 
ago bringing with them 1,700 captured Sioux, wives, children, and 
old men and women of the hostiles. They are camped on the 
bottoms just below the Fort at the junction of the Minnesota 
and Mississippi rivers. They are a broken-hearted, ragged, 
dejected looking lot. They have a million dogs almost, and you 
can hear them barking for miles. There are 156 tepees. A 
Minnesota Reg't is in charge of them and no soldier is allowed 
inside the tepees. Papooses are running about in the snow bare- 
foot and the old Indians wear thin buckskin moccasins and no 
stockings. Their ponies are poor and their dogs are starved. 
They are going to be shipped West into the Black Hills country. 
Like the children of Israel in the Bible story they are forced to go 
forever from the homes of their childhood and the graves of their 
fathers to dwell in the mountains and on the barren plains of a 
strange land. I lifted up the flaps of a number of their tepees and 
looked in. Every time I looked in I met the gaze of angry eyes. 
Nearly all of them were alike. Mothers with babies at their 
breasts, grandmothers and grandsires sat about smouUlering fires 
in the center of the tepee, smoking their long stemmed pipes, and 



muttering their plaints in the soft guttural tones of the Sioux. 
The white man's face was their hate and their horror and they 
showed it by hate in their eyes and their black lowering brows. 
Why shouldn't they? What had they done? What was their 
crime? The white man had driven them from one reservation to 
another. They were weary and broken hearted and desperate at 
the broken promises of the government. And when they took up 
arms in desperation for their homes and the graves of their sires 
they are called savages and red devils. When we white people 
do the same things we are written down in history as heroes and 
patriots. Why this difference? I can't see into it. I often think 
of what father said of justice in the world. That is, that it is the 
winning party the lions of the earth, that write its history. He 
said, "Cataline, had anybody but his bitter enemies written his 
history, might have been shown to be a good man." I have been 
fooling around the Indian camps all day and my company are 
all gone home. From where I sit writing these notes in a little 
niche on the side of the Fort overlooking the camp below I can 
see the sentinels pacing their rounds and hear the yelping of 
hungry Indian dogs. My fingers are numb. The cold west 
wind hits me here and I must quit. I must look for a warm 
place to sleep tonight and start for home in the morning by the 
way of Hudson and Eau Claire. 

{To be continued) 


The Wisconsin Historical Library has long maintained a 
bureau of historical information for the benefit of those who care 
to avail themselves of the service it offers. In ''The QuesHon 
Box'' will be printed from time to time such queries, with the 
answers made to them, as possess sufficient general interest to 
render their publication worth while. 


Has the Wisconsin Historical Society in its possession any historical 
data that would enable you to furnish me the place of birth, date of birth, 
place of death, date of death, alma mater, and public positions, if any, 
with periods of service, of Dr. Moses Meeker? Was he not an author 
of some historical works? If it is possible to furnish me the above data, 
will you kindly do so ? 

Henry T. Watt 
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 

Moses Meeker was born in New Jersey (place not specified) 
June 17, 1790. In early life he made some study of medicine, but 
never received a degree, his title of Doctor being granted by 
courtesy. In 1817 he settled at Cincinnati and engaged in the 
manufacturing of white lead. While so occupied his atten- 
tion was attracted to the lead region of northwestern Illinois 
and southwestern Wisconsin. This region he visited in 1822; 
the next year, having taken out a government lease, he brought 
out a colony of forty-five men and began mining and smelting 
on a large scale. In 1832 he removed to Grant County, W^is- 
consin, and on Blue River established a smelter. He retired 
in 1854 from active life and settled at his farm, Meeker's Grove, 
near Benton, Lafayette County. In 1865 he removed to Shulls- 
burg, where July 7 of that year he died. Dr. Meeker was active 
in Wisconsin territorial politics; in 183G he was a candidate for 
territorial delegate, but was defeated by George W. Jones. In 
the territorial legislatures of 1842-44 Dr. Meeker represented 
Mineral Point, representing the same place in the convention 


The Question Box 

elected in 1846 to form a state constitution. He was an early 
member of the State Histoirical Society and always interested in 
its progress; he wrote for the Collections, "History of Lead Region 
of Wisconsin," published in volume vi, 271-96. There is a por- 
trait of him in the Society's museum, presented by Mrs. Meeker. 


Can you tell me which is the oldest house in the Middle West still in 
use? We have one here dating from 1836. 



We do not quite know how one would go about it to determine 
the oldest house now occupied in the Middle West. To begin 
with, one would have strictly to delimit the area included in the 
investigation. If you mean to include Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, 
Missouri, and so forth, there are undoubtedly a great many 
houses older than 1836. For example, we chance to have in mind 
a house at Hillsboro, Illinois, that was built about 1825. The 
present home of the Quincy Historical Society was built as a 
residence in 1835. In a sense it might still be said to be occupied 
as such, for the caretaker of the society resides in the building. 
We mention these examples, not as particularly early ones, but 
merely as presenting two houses of older date than yours in 
Ephraim. Coming to Wisconsin, the residence of the Reverend 
Alfred Brunson, built at Prairie du Chien in 1836, is still in use, 
also the residence of Zachary Taylor while he was in command at 
Fort Crawford. We do not know the date of building this house, 
but it certainly antedates yours by at least a few years. No 
doubt other examples could be found here and there in the lead 
mine region. 


I am looking desperately for authentic information regarding the 
early logging operations carried on in your state. I want particularly 
the names of the early timber **kings" and the names of the rivers that 
were famous for their drives. 

I will greatly appreciate any effort you may make to secure this 
information for me. 

ViCTOB Shawe 
Genesee, Idaho 

Early Lumbering and Lumber Kings of Wisconsin 103 

The information you request is too vast to be contained in a 
single letter; the history of the lumber industry in Wisconsin 
would require much research and several volumes to elucidate. 
However, we can furnish you with a few suggestions, taken main- 
ly from Frederick Merk's Economic History of Wisconsin During 
the Civil War Decade (Madison, 1916). 

The pinery districts that were earliest operated were those of 
the Wisconsin, Black, Chippewa, and St. Croix rivers in western 
Wisconsin; and the Wolf, Menominee, and shore lines of Green 
Bay in eastern Wisconsin. Upon the Wisconsin River, the long- 
est in the state, lumbering began very early. Lieutenant Jeffer- 
son Davis, later president of the Confederacy, when stationed at 
Fort Winnebago took a squad of men up the river about 1830 
to cut timber for the fort. Rafting began about 1839. You will 
find an excellent account of Wisconsin River rafting in Wis. 
Hist. Soc. Proceedings, 1910, 171-89. The big sawmills on the 
Wisconsin River were built at the several rapids where have 
sprung up the present cities of Grand Rapids, Stevens Point, 
Wausau, and Merrill. One of the earliest lumbermen on the 
Wisconsin was Daniel Whitney of Green Bay, an enterprising 
Yankee who did much to develop the resources of Wisconsin 
before it became a territory in 1836. 

In western Wisconsin the Black River pineries were the 
earliest to be opened. Parties from St. Louis and Prairie du 
Chien went up the Black as early as 1818. The first extensive 
operations were by a group of Mormons who in 1841 began taking 
out timber for the temple at Nauvoo, Illinois. When they left, 
after the expulsion of the sect from Illinois, logging was begun 
by Jacob Spanding at Black River Falls in the early forties. 
The Chippewa River region was opened in the fifties by John H. 
Knapp and his partners, who organized the Knapp, Stout Com- 
pany of Menomonie, Dunn County, Wisconsin. During the 
decade of the Civil War the product of the Chippewa leaped 
from 60,000,000 feet in 1860-61 to 436,000,000 feet in 1871-74. 

In the St. Croix region the first logs were cut in the winter of 
1836-37. In 1838 a company was formed to open tlir himbor 
trade of that river, which in 1843 sent two rafts of 500,000 feet 


The Question Box 

from Stillwater to St. Louis. By 1864 the rafts were towed for the 
first time by a steamboat. 

In eastern Wisconsin methods were different. Sawmills were 
built on the lake and bay shore, and timber was shipped by sailing 
and steam craft to the great lake ports. Oshkosh was built up 
by the Wolf River output and became in the sixties the "Sawdust 
City." Its output was chiefly shipped by railroad. 

Among the "lumber kings" who have been prominent in Wis- 
consin political history are Isaac Stephenson, Nelson Ludington, 
Daniel Wells, Philetus Sawyer of eastern Wisconsin; Cadwallader 
C. Washburn, Thaddeus Pound, J. G. Thorpe, J. H. Knapp, 
A. L. Stout, and Alexander Stewart of western Wisconsin. Fred- 
erick Weyerhauser began exploiting Chippewa pine lands in the 
Civil War decade. In 1871 he organized the Mississippi River 
Logging Company, the greatest lumber syndicate of its time. 


Can you identify a company which had a post office around 1856- 
57, the postmark of which reads: "G. D. D. & Min. P. Co.?" It may 
possibly have been in the vicinity of Pepin or North Pepin. 

Wm. F. Goerner 
Edgewood, Rhode Island 

The postmark for which you inquire was that of the Galena, 
Dubuque, Dunleith, and Minnesota Packet Company, which 
plied its steamboats on the upper Mississippi during the decade of 
the fifties. It was commonly spoken of as the Minnesota Packet 
Company. You will find an account of its history in George B. 
Merrick, Old Times on the Upper Mississippi (Arthur H. Clark 
Co., Cleveland, 1909). The letter was posted on the steamboat 
and^stamped with the Packet Company's mark, as is often done 
with railway postal car letters. 


We are assembling information regarding the history, origin, and 
development of Agricultural Fairs in the United States and Europe. 
Could you send to me references to this general subject? 

E. K. Thomas 

Secretary, Rhode Island Horticultural Society, Kingston, R. I. 
The first State Agricultural Fair in Wisconsin was held at 
Janesville in 1851; since that it has met annually except for the 

Wiconsin Histories for a Newspaper Office 105 

years 1861, 1862, and 1863, when the grounds at Madison were in 
use as a camp for regiments going or returning to the front. In 
1864 the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society determined to hold 
a fair at Janes ville. It was continued there the two succeeding 
years. In 1867 the fair returned to the capital, at Madison, 
whence in 1870 it was removed to Milwaukee, where it has been 
held each autumn to the present time. We have a complete set 
of the Transactions of the Society giving accounts of the yearly 
fairs. We note also that the Society sent its secretary as a dele- 
gate to the International Exhibition at London, 1862, and to the 
Paris Universal Exposition, 1867. For both these expositions 
the delegate made an extended report, printed in the Transac- 
tions. County fairs have been established in nearly every county 
of the state. We have a considerable mass of material on these 
local fairs and will be glad to look up for you any especial point of 
research that does not involve too much expenditure of time. 


Would you mind suggesting to me a list of county and state 
histories, and records of Dane County and Madison which I should have 
for a newspaper reference library ? Do you know of a history of Wisconsin 
that is worth while? If new things are coming out in the future I shall 
be interested in them also. 

A. M. Brayton 


There is no very good or satisfactory history of Wisconsin 
to my knowledge. Dr. Thwaites' little volume in the American 
Commonwealth Series is good as far as it goes. However, the 
volume is small at best, and two-thirds of its contents deal with 
Wisconsin prior to 1848, so that one gets almost nothing on the 
real history of the state which has taken place since that time. 
Similar to Dr. Thwaites' account is Miss Kellogg's "Story of 
Wisconsin, 1634-1848," which we have been running serially for 
something over a year in the Wisconsin Magazine of History. The 
last installment of it will appear in the June number, so that the 
story is well toward completion now. Another fairly handy 
reference book for Wisconsin is Mr. Legler's volume, Ix'aditig 
Events of Wisconsin History. The Story of the State. Milwaukee, 


The Question Box 

I presume you are familiar with the publications of the State 
Historical Society. The index volume to the first twenty volumes 
of the Collections affords the key to a great mine of historical 
information pertaining to the state. Concerning Dane County 
and Madison, we have Dr. Durrie's history, which contains a mass 
of information crudely put together, and not at all easy to handle 
because of the lack of an index. More recent is Dr. Thwaites' 
history of the University of Wisconsin, the introductory chapters 
of which constitute also a history of Madison. On the county 
subscription book order, perhaps the best reference is E. W. 
Keyes' history of Dane County. 


Urgent business matters have interfered with a prompt reply to 
your inquiry made in your last communication. You will remember it 
related to the question as to whether or not the name Manitowoc could 
have been derived from a cross set upon the shore near by, by the early 
Catholic missionaries. 

This derivation of the name I consider as improbable. My reasons 
for this opinion are as follows : 

First. The name given by the Algonquin languages to the cross 
has been one which designated it as a cross-stick. The Indian word 
spelled in the English orthography is "Ah-zih-day-yah-tig." I never 
knew the cross to be called by any other name than the one given. It 
has in it an implied feeling of contempt, as our word * 'stick" designates 
a diminutive and comparatively worthless article. The ending *Voc" 
in the word Manitowoc involves the meaning of wood as timber or 
forest and so means a great deal more than a stick. If the cross had 
given name to the place, it would probably have been a word something 
like "Ah-ziu-day-yah-tig-gong," meaning the place of the cross. 

Second. I have never known of any case where the Indians gave 
a name to a place because of its cross, this notwithstanding the Catholic 
missionaries have such landmarks almost everywhere in their exploring 
expeditions. There was one at Madeline Island. There was another 
at Sault St. Marie. On the Pacific slope, almost every Mission Station 
was dedicated by the erection of a cross. 

Of course, it might be said that while later usage among the Indians 
after the name of the cross had become established might have made it 
impossible for the Indians to call it "a spirit timber," which Manitowoc 
means, yet in the first instance, the Indians finding it a symbol strange 
and weird, someway connected with the idea of God, might have called 
it as given. But I think the objection can fairly be raised to this assump- 
tion which will be my third reason — that the heathen opposition to the 
white man's religion would be stronger to start with than it became after- 

The Significance of Manitowoc 


wards. Therefore, the improbability of the Medicine Lodge of heathen- 
ism allowing its own sacred name of Manitou to be applied to the cross 
is still more so. 

It is a singular fact that notwithstanding the triumphs of Chris- 
tianity among the Indian peoples, the original name of cross-stick 
obtains in their language. 

I think the theory that the name Manitowoc either refers to a totem 
pole erected by a clan of the Medicine Lodge, or that it is derived from a 
grove made sacred by certain forms of worship in the woods gives origin 
to the name. So I would conclude that Manitowoc comes either from a ' 
totem pole or from a grove used for certain Medicine Lodge ceremonies. 

E. P. Wheeler 
Aurora^ Illinois 



In the March number of our magazine it was suggested that I 
might furnish data as to the old trails from Lake Pepin to Menom- 
onie and possibly "to the Chippewa." I can. 

The earliest landing place for traders, lumbermen, and tourists 
to the Chippewa River region was at Nelson's Landing, Wiscon- 
sin, a little way below the mouth of the Chippewa River (into the 
Mississippi). A little later Read's Landing was founded and 
became the great port of entry for all this section. A few in very 
early times landed at Pepin. 

From Nelson's the trail led direct to the Chippewa where a 
crossing was made in canoes or by wading in seasons of low water. 

Then following fairly closely the river bank passing Three Mile 
Prairie, Five and Seven Mile Bluffs, and Plum Creek at its mouth, 
crossing there, and still following the river the trail passed what 
was later called Markses, and up to Dead Lake where Fletcher 
kept a Stopping Place, as did Mr. Stevens on Dead Lake Prairie. 
It then followed the west bank of Dead Lake past Round Hill on 
the west and on to the Eau Galle River which it crossed a mile or 
so below Carson & Eaton's mill at what is the present village of 
Eau Galle. Just before crossing the river a trail led direct to the 
mill, and some stopped there over night, but most men kept on 
past Waubeek Mound to Macauley's on sections 34-26-13 W. He 
kept a stopping place. Here the trail to Menomonie turned north 
between sections 33 & 34, 27 & 28 and then over to the line be- 
tween sections 22 & 23 and 14 & 15, then swinging around Chimney 
Bluff across sections 11 & 3 (all these in Town 26, Range 13 west 
Dunn Co. Wis.) it passed through what is now the west side of 
Downsville and followed the Red Cedar (or Menomonie River as 
it was then called) closely all the way to Menomonie. At Macau- 
ley's a trail to Dunnville and on to Eau Claire, kept northeast 
going down onto the Chippewa bottoms and then to Dunnville — 
some preferred to keep on the Menomonie trail until they reached 

The Trails from Lake Pepin to the Chippewa 109 

the corner of sections 21, 22, 27, 28, T 26, R 13 where they turned 
east to Dunnville and joined the other trail, went up the hill and 
followed the high land to Eau Claire. 

There was still another trail from Eau Galle to Menomonie by 
what was known as the Gap Route, but it was not much traveled, 
and I can only say that it went north from Eau Galle for some 
distance and then joined the other route at Irvine's, or Lower 
Mill, as it was then named. 

The Indian trail from Menomonie northeast to Rice Lake, 
etc., is described as starting from the camp ground at what is now 
Evergreen Cemetery and Point Comfort, following the shore 
of Red Cedar River to Cedar Falls and then "toward the sunrise, 
and at a distance of about one rest and a smoke the trails branched 
off, one leading up the east bank of the Red Cedar to Chetek, 
Prairie Lake, Rice Lake, Pokegama, Cedar Lake, Big Chetek, to 
Lac Court de Oreilles" — the home of the Chippewa. The other 
trail from Cedar Falls led up the west side of Red Cedar River 
and then Hay River to about Prairie Farm, thence crossing 
Yellow River and coming out at The Elk Trail or Louseburg on 
Red Cedar River, and to Rice Lake, Bear Lake, Long Lake, Mud 
Lake (now Spooner), and to points on the Namekagon. 

I am indebted for much information about the trails north of 
Menomonie to Mr. Thomas Bracklin of Reserve, who was born 
and has lived for about sixty years on these trails and their ter- 
mini, though I have been over them many times in the last 
fifty-five years, as the present roads follow much the old trails. 

Henry E. Knapp 




During the three months' period ending July 10, 1920, there were 
twenty-one additions to the membership roll of the State Historical 
Society. Six persons enrolled as life members, as follows: Frederick 
Cams, Manitowoc; Harold E. Devereaux, Madison; William M. 
Gratiot, Mineral Point; John H. Hauberg, Rock Island, Illinois; Leon 
B. Lamfrom, Milwaukee; and J. F. A. Pyre, Madison. 

The following fifteen persons enrolled as annual members of the 
Society: C. A. Biebler, Shorewood; George M. Blackburn, Starks; 
Joseph V. Cargiil, Milwaukee; Gerrit J. Corscott, Madison; May L. 
Crosby, Muscoda; Mrs. George W. Dexheimer, Fort Atkinson; J. Q. 
Emery, Edgerton; Mrs. T. W. Evans, Madison; Richard J. Hennessey, 
Hay ward; Everett C. Hirsch, Park Falls; Charles Lo water. Spring 
Valley; Olaf M. Nelson, Jr., Madison; Harris R. Randle, Waukesha; 
Miss Anna Swallow, Janesville; Raymond C. Werner, Wauwatosa. 

George G. Greene, one of Wisconsin's best known lawyers, died at 
his home in Green Bay, May 23, 1920. By his profession Mr. Greene 
had been repeatedly honored during his fifty-year career at the bar. 
In 1893 he declined the nomination of the State Bar Association for 
justice of the supreme court of Wisconsin, and later twice declined 
appointment to that high office by successive governors of the state. 
In 1903 he was elected president of the State Bar Association. During 
his active career Mr. Greene was connected with some of the most 
important litigation of the state. 

James E. Jones of Portage, editor and owner for almost forty years 
of the Portage Democrat, died June 26 after a short illness. Mr. Jones 
was long prominent in the Democratic party of Wisconsin, serving as 
delegate to several national conventions and for twelve years as a mem- 
ber of the State Central Committee. He was twice a candidate for 
Congress, was a member of the State Board of Control during Governor 
Peck's administration, and postmaster of Portage during the Cleveland 

William A. Arnold of Milwaukee, first Socialist sheriff of that 
county, died at his home in June at the age of sixty-three. Mr. Arnold 
was one of the pioneers of the Socialist movement in Wisconsin and 
had been at different times his party's candidate for governor and for 
mayor of Milwaukee. He was one of the organizers of the Mutual 
Building and Loan Association and was for twenty-eight years its 
treasurer. He followed the trade of printer and for many years was fore- 
man of the Western Newspaper Union plant. 

The Society and the State 


Alumni reunions are no novelty in American life, but one held in the 
town of Dover, Kenosha County, for two years past presents some 
unusual aspects. The one recently held was the second annual reunion 
of the "graduates" of an old log schoolhouse which formerly stood near 
Brighton, Kenosha County. The building was torn down sixty-five 
years ago; consequently its living graduates have long since attained 
years of discretion. In 1919 twelve of them gathered to discuss old 
times and memories. This year they brought their families, and the 
pleasure of the reunion was heightened thereby. 

The village of Shopiere in 1862 gave its most distinguished son. 
Governor Louis P. Harvey, to the cause of the Union. Fifty-eight years 
later the little community gave a less prominent but no less worthy 
son. Corporal Lester Butler, to the holocaust of the World War. In 
June, 1920, in the shadow of Governor Harvey's stately old homestead, 
the village dedicated with appropriate ceremony a fine community clock 
to the memory of Corporal Butler, whose young life went out in the 
battle of Fismes. This memorial, erected at a cost of $1,000, was pro- 
vided by a popular community subscription. Republics are some- 
times ungrateful, but not always. In the present case the gratitude of 
the village to its dead soldier has found fitting and beautiful expression. 

Another memorial to a soldier of the World War, a thing at once of 
beauty and of usefulness, is the fine bridge in the town of Black Wolf on 
the Oshkosh-Fond du Lac road, which is to be dedicated to the memory 
of Kurt Graf on July 28. Graf was a member of the 150th Machine 
Gun Battalion, who died at Chateau Thierry July 28, 1918. The 
bridge which honors his memory stands near the place where he was 
born and lived his short life. 

One of Wisconsin's *'boys in blue" was William W. Kimball of 
Omro, who in 1863 at the age of thirteen attempted to enlist in the 
Third Wisconsin Cavalry. Rejected he came back a year later and this 
time was accepted as a private in the Seventeenth Infantry. He served 
to the end of the war, being with Sherman on the march to the sea, and 
in the grand review at Washington in 1865. At the latter date he was a 
veteran of fifteen summers. Returning home, he undertook the support 
of his mother and winters resumed his education, first in the Omro High 
School and later in the Whitewater Normal. He worked in a nursery, 
on river boats, and at the harness trade; when equipped tlicrrfor he 
began teaching and finally held for nine years the office of county super- 
intendent of schools. He held other county offices, and in 1S98. wlicn 
nearly fifty years of age, took up the study of law, which he practiced 
until about ten years ago. Since then his time was devoted to looking 
after his property and to the interests of the Elizabeth B. l^avis or- 
phanage, of which he was superintendent. 

Such, all too briefly sketched, is the useful life story of one Badger 
boy in blue who has recently answered to the last great roll call. 

Survey of Historical Activities 

The story of Lafayette County's part in the World War is summar- 
ized by Patrick H. Conley, chairman of the county's War History 
Committee, in the Blanchardville Blade of June 17, 1920. Mr. Conley 
has long been secretary of the County Historical Society and custodian 
of its collections. 

Mr. C. H. Crownhart is the author of a series of weekly articles on 
"North Wisconsin in History and Romance," publication of which was 
begun by the Superior Telegram on May 1, 1920. The region included 
within the scope of the series is that portion of Wisconsin lying north of 
a line drawn westward from Green Bay. 

Rear Admiral Albert W. Grant was placed on the retirement list 
of the navy in April by reason of age limitation. Admiral Grant was a 
native of Maine, but his parents soon removed to Wisconsin and the 
admiral's boyhood and youth were passed at Stevens Point. From 
here he was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1873, since which 
time his life has been spent in the service of the government. During 
the World War Admiral Grant had command of Battleship Force No. 1 
of the Atlantic fleet. 

The Racine County Old Settlers' Society was organized in June, 
1870, and with the annual meeting of 1920 celebrated its fiftieth anniver- 
sary. For many years its meetings were held at different points in the 
county, but twelve years ago the picnic ground at Union Grove became 
its permanent home. The success of the Society for the last twenty-one 
years has been due in large measure to the efforts of J. S. Blakey of Union 
Grove, who has been its president during this period. At a meeting of 
the directors in May, Mr. Blakey asked to be relieved from office and 
further responsibility. Instead, the directors proceeded to elect him 
president of the society for life. 

The fourteenth annual meeting of the Waukesha County Historical 
Society was held at Waukesha on May 6, 1920. Aside from social 
features and the transaction of business three considerable historical 
papers were read. Rev. R. A. Barnes of Madison gave a biographical 
sketch of his father, Porter P. Barnes, who was a pioneer settler of this 
vicinity; John L. Gasper gave his "Reminiscences of Prairieville and 
Early Waukesha"; and J. H. A. Lacher, custodian of the society's 
museum, read a paper on "The Value of Historical Collections." 

On April 19, 1920 Mrs. Eliza Loring Nye died in her ninety-third 
year. Mrs. Nye was a native of Maine, who in early married life came 
with her husband and two children to Wisconsin, settling in the Kinnic- 
kinnic Valley in the vicinity of River Falls in the year 1855. Although 
much of her life was passed under the primitive conditions characteristic 
of the frontier, Mrs. Nye was keen to take advantage, both for herself 
and for her children, of all possible opportunities for reading and educa- 

The Society and the State 


tion. What manner of woman she was is best shown by the careers of 
the children she gave to the world. One of them is now a judge, another 
was formerly a member of Congress for Minnesota, and the third, Edgar 
Nye, was the noted humorist known to the world as '*Bill Nye." 

The sixty-fifth anniversary of the Freier Saengerbund of Manitowoc, 
which is said to be Wisconsin's oldest singing organization, was appro- 
priately celebrated in June. The society was incorporated fifty-eight 
years ago and for many years played a prominent r6le in the social ' 
and cultural life of the community. In more recent years it has suffered 
a decline and some fear is expressed by members that its days are 
numbered, because of lack of new blood. Until a few months ago the 
society still retained one of its charter members, Mr. John Schuette of 
Manitowoc. The organization has a notable record for patriotism, 
which was told by Judge Emil Baensch in the issue of this magazine for 
September, 1918. On the very day the news of the outbreak of actual 
war between the North and the South reached Manitowoc, April 19, 
1861, four members of the society enlisted for the service of their coun- 
try. Others followed their example until in time twenty-six, one-half of 
the active membership of the society, were serving in the ranks of the 
Union armies. The character of this service is sufficiently indicated by 
the remarkable record of promotions they won. Out of the ranks of 
Manitowoc's Free Singers went one major general, one major, one sur- 
geon, four captains, and ten lieutenants. It need hardly be stated that 
the descendants of such sires as these were not found wanting when our 
country was drawn into the World War. An organization with such a 
record as this one has should not be permitted to die. 

In our last issue mention was made of the Great War diary of Gay- 
lord Bradley of Mauston, which is being published serially in the 
Mauston Chronicle. It presents a fascinating picture of the life and 
mind of this American soldier who gave his all to his country on the 
bloody fields of France. We venture to share with the readers of this 
magazine one of the the daily entries. The one chosen might easily be 
matched for interest by many others. The reader should understand 
that Bradley was a musician, whose duty in time of action was to serve 
as carrier of the wounded. 

'^Sunday, Aug. 4, 1918 
"Sunday — God — was it yesterday we went out to that Hell? A 
slaughter house of the Devil. We got out there about four kilonioters 
and after getting four patients brot them back to where the ambulance 
was to wait for us — and they were gone! So we took them about a 
kilometer down the road for the shells were falling thick all around us. 
After waiting for what seemed an age an ambulance came and wo sent 
the men in and started for the front again. When about half way back 
we met a group of wounded and were stalled for they wanted and needed 
first aid badly. Before I came up that far Dressel came ont of t lie woods, 
and when I got there a station was in working order and working order 


Survey of Historical Activities 

it was for with only Hilton there, Needles, Selbrede and I were forced 
into surgical service. From then on it was terrible. We dressed bullet 
and shrapnel wounds and took care of gas and shell-shocked patients 
that came in in droves. Early in the evening Major Merrill came in, 
gassed, and then officers and men until at one time we had over a 
hundred men there in the road. Then happened one of the worst 
things that could have happened — the ambulances stopped coming. 
No stretchers, no ambulances, and men lay shot to pieces, dying, in the 
road, groaning and crying, begging us to do something for them, even to 
shoot them; but we were helpless. After giving them first aid we were 
powerless to do any more and the shell-shocked patients made an inferno 
even worse for when the shells would break near, throwing iron, rock 
and mud on us they would jump from the ground shaking and gibbering 
idiotically, their mouths hanging open and eyes bulging, powerless to 
control themselves. During the first part of the afternoon both Curry 
and Regner were out of the game with shell shock, also Garfield. Curry 
put up a plucky fight and controlled himself wonderfully well but was 
unable to help. Altogether it was pitiful. The men one would least 
expect to show up good (Selly for instance) were the ones who showed 
up best and the big healthy fellows, the ones who made the most noise, 
were the ones who never showed up at all. Scared — I was half dead 
with fright, but it only bothered when we weren't busy, while we were 
working I did not even hear it. And Hilton — a soldier all the way thru. 
I can't say any more for him, nor too much. He was a wonder. Three 
times a German plane painted to look like a French plane, gave the 
artillery our range and we were forced to move those hundred patients — 
twenty of them litter patients which we moved first, then helped the leg 
and arm men, then the shell-shocked and gassed, and unless you have 
carried a full grown man a mile or so you can't appreciate what that 
means. One man, horribly mutilated, kept begging us to shoot him and 
we were forced to move him down the road away from the rest, also 
shell-shocked for they were driving both us and the other patients crazy. 
Clayton Betts brot in some men once and I only had time to say 'Are 
you all right?' and then move on to work. However, Homer Underwood 
came in later, shell-shocked, crying like a baby. His whole squad was 
killed. After he sat down and I had a few minutes I sat with him, 
quieting him and doing what I could for him. Soon he was able to 
control himself. Finally after many unavailing attempts to have them 
send an ambulance out, we started carrying them back ourselves, at last 
reaching the place where Jack and the rest of the fellows were. Jack 
then helped us. Before we moved them however we had two gas alarms 
and were forced to work frantically to get masks on the patients — this 
before we could put our own on and as a result we are all slightly burned in 
our lungs, not seriously tho. We eventually stopped at *the hole' 
and could go no farther for we were all exhausted. All our efforts to get 
help from companies returning from the front were of no avail — they 
flatly refused. Then it began to rain and there we were. The men lying 
on the ground, wet and cold and no way to get them back to the town. 

The Society and the State 


Helpless? We were all of us ready to break down and cry. It was 
awful to see them suffer, to hear them beg us to help and be unable to 
do any more. Finally at about one o'clock in the morning, after lying 
out for eight hours, Capt. Mitchell from Co. H, 127th, came by with his 
men and we appealed to him. Immediately he ordered his men to 
throw down their packs and carry the patients the remaining three 
miles and a half thru the mud and rain. Relief — it took a thousand 
years off our minds and we started into town to get some rest. The 
*hole' crowd came out then and went back for the much needed rest. 
We got in at 3:00 a.m. and fell on the floor to sleep — my hands, face > 
and clothes covered with blood and slime — too tired to care. Today all 
we've done is rest and even yet I haven't relaxed. I only pray they will 
let us sleep tonight. They shelled this town all day and probably will all 
nite to nite." 


In the Proceedings for 1918 it was announced that the papers of 
Nelson Dewey, first governor of the state, had been received by the 
Society. These papers have now been sorted, arranged, and made 
available for consultation. It is deeply to be regretted that Governor 
Dewey did not see fit to preserve his personal and political correspond- 
ence with the same care that he bestowed upon his business papers. 
The collection that has come to the Society consists almost wholly of 
papers of the latter nature. Since Dewey was one of the largest land 
owners of Grant County, as well as agent for a number of eastern specu- 
lators in western lands, these papers have considerable economic value. 
Among them are a large number of original parchment title deeds to 
government land issued by the General Land Office, signed by the 
presidents from Andrew Jackson to Franklin Pierce. There are also 
title deeds to the "Sixteenth Section" or school lands issued by all the 
territorial governors. The chronological stretch of the papers is from 
1833 to 1889, the year of Dewey's death; the bulk of them, however, 
relates to the period before the Civil War and illustrates the activities 
of a large Wisconsin land owner and lead miner. Governor Dewey was 
sole administrator of the estate of the Honorable Ben C. Eastman, con- 
gressman from southwest Wisconsin from 1851 to 1855. One of the 
letters to Eastman, written in December, 1854 by Mason C. Darling, 
outlines the plan by which the Fox-Wisconsin Improvement Company 
secured its land grant from the Thirty-third Congress. The other 
Eastman papers relate to the management and settlement of his estate 
and are typical of the land transactions of the early days of Wisconsin 
history. There are among them receipts of the Mineral Point land oflicc. 
land transfers in considerable number, plats of towns, arrangomonls for 
ferries, leases of mineral lands, and inventories of ])crsonal proj^orty. 

In Dewey's day-book for 1839 are the receipts for bnilding llio first 
schoolhouse at Lancaster; among the pa])ers also is the charter (if incor- 
poration of Platteville Academy, the forerunner of the present Normal 
at that place. There are also Dewey's commissions as jnsti(M^ of the 
peace, militia inspector, and master in chancery, signed by every one 


Survey of Historical Activities 

of the territorial governors; his certificate of admission to the bar signed 
by Judge Charles Dunn, of the territorial supreme court; and his certifi- 
cate of election to the territorial legislature of 1840. Among the miscel- 
laneous receipts are those of editors and proprietors of Wisconsin news- 
papers, bills of freight for Mississippi steamboats, and exchange for 
territorial scrip which in 1840 brought $21 for $26.34. Sixteen 
small volumes of the governor's diary, extending from 1854 to 1889 
with many gaps, are included in the collection. These would be more 
valuable had their writer made more extended daily entries than he did. 
For the most part he records merely where he passed the day, e. g., "This 
day at Platteville," the weather, and a few family items. The manu- 
scripts of Governor Dewey's messages to the legislature during his term 
of oflSce close the collection. Considering the political and social promi- 
nence of Governor Dewey, his papers are not of as great historical value 
as might have been expected. Nevertheless, it is fortunate that they 
have been rescued from destruction. 


One of the most notable manuscript accessions of recent years is the 
gift to the Society of the papers of the Honorable Charles M. Baker of 
Lake Geneva, a member of the first convention for drawing a state 
constitution, and a man of influence, probity, and weight in Wisconsin 
affairs for over a third of a century. The papers range in time from 1835 
to 1872. With one notable exception, however, the collection ends 
with the close of the Civil War. 

Judge Baker was of the New England tradition, although he was 
born October 18, 1804, in New York City, of parents who were natives 
of New Jersey. In early childhood he removed to Vermont, where he 
grew up and was educated at Middlebury College, and whence in 1838 
he removed to Wisconsin. Before this latter event, however, young 
Baker had studied law in Troy, New York, and had there formed a 
partnership with Henry M. Strong, brother of Marshall M. Strong later 
of Racine. Upon his marriage in 1829 Mr. Baker settled at Seneca Falls, 
and there in 1835 young Marshall Strong sought out his brother's whilom 
partner with the idea of entering his law oiBSce and remaining for some 
time. On what slight events the door of destiny swings! Marshall 
Strong arrived in Seneca Falls by canal boat and found his prospective 
patron Charles M. Baker absent. Looking around the town Strong 
decided not to stay and shortly thereafter turned his footsteps to the 
new territory of Wisconsin, where he made his ultimate home. Baker, 
in the meanwhile, his health failing, returned to his early home in Ver- 
mont, whence he wrote to Strong for a description of his new environ- 
ment. Strong's account, which was very favorable and led to Baker's 
own emigration, is one of the early letters of this collection. In it 
Wisconsin is represented as healthful to an extraordinary degree. "For 
some reason the atmosphere is more pure than at the East, and you can 
see objects at a greater distance." The lands are divided into "oak 
openings" and stretches of timber; the territory contains 3,500 or 4,000 

The Society and the State 


inhabitants, largely from New England and New York; "they are 
enterprising, intelligent, moral — there are 8 common schools in this 
[Racine] county to my knowledge — they are the most temperate com- 
munity I have ever fallen amongst. We have preaching every Sunday at 
our village alternately by a methodist and a presby terian minister. ' ' Lured 
by such prospects the Baker family left Vermont in the early autumn 
of 1838, and having found no place in the new territory more beautiful 
or more to their taste than the shores of Lake Geneva, they settled 
there and made it their permanent home. There young Baker opened 
a law office, one of the earliest established in Walworth County. 

The community in which he settled was poor, but full of hopefulness, 
land hungry, and industrious, cheerful in the face of difficulties, buoyed 
by a supreme optimism. Mr. Baker was soon found trustworthy and be- 
came the advisor of this community; to his office were brought the tangles 
and trials that beset the pioneers. Before long he was chosen district 
attorney for the southern district of the territory. Wisconsin was still 
unorganized politically. In 1839 John Catlin, then secretary of the 
territory, wrote to Mr. Baker that there were no party lines. In 1841, 
however, the Democrats effected an organization with which Mr. Baker 
at once allied himself. On their ticket he was the next year elected to 
the territorial council, of which he remained a member until 1846. In 
this year he was elected delegate to the first constitutional convention. 
At the convention Mr. Baker was a useful, hard-working member. His 
legal ability was recognized by appointing him chairman of the com- 
mittee on judiciary. Among his papers is the manuscript draft of the 
provision, later incorporated into the constitution, for an elective judi- 

During the campaign for the ratification of the constitution Mr. 
Baker was one of its "friends," strongly advocating its adoption. In 
this policy he opposed that of his early acquaintance, Marshall M. 
Strong, who worked indefatigably against its acceptance. When it was 
finally rejected Mr. Baker took no part in the preparation of the new 
constitution, which ultimately became the fundamental law of the 
state; this, however, embodied many of the democratic features of the 
first constitution, notably the election of judges, for which Mr. Baker 
was so largely responsible. After statehood was attained Mr. Baker 
was chosen with two others to prepare and publish the first code of 
Revised Statutes for the new commonwealth — a difficult task, ably 
performed. In 1856 Mr. Baker was appointed circuit judge by the 
governor to fill an unexpired term. Although much im])ortiinrd he 
refused at the end of his term to stand for reelection and retired from tlio 
bench to private practice. In that he continued until the Civil War. 
during the last two years of which he was draft commissioner for the 
southern district of the state. 

Except for a brief interval in 1850, when the Bakers lived at Madi- 
son, and another during the Civil War, when they made their home in 
Milwaukee, their residence was always at the village of Lake Cicnova. 
There was no man in Walworth County more respected and honored; 

118 Survey of Historical Activities 

none whose connections were wider or of more repute. The bulk of 
his correspondence was legal, dealing with collections, mortgages, bank- 
ruptcy, pensions, land titles, and claims. His advice was sought, how- 
ever, by the party leaders — Democratic until 1856, after that Republi- 
can, when Judge Baker allied himself with the new party opposed to 
the further extension of slavery. Among the letters appear the signa- 
tures of such men of prominence as John Fox Potter (later known as 
"Bowie Knife "Potter), George Wallace Jones, George P. Delaplaine, 
Moses M. Strong, D. A. J. Upham, Josiah Noonan, Morgan L. Martin, 
C. Latham Sholes, B. B. Gary, and Matt Carpenter. Every territorial 
and state governor until the close of the Civil War and such legal 
authorities as E. V. Whiton, David Noggle, Levi Hubbell, WiUiam P. 
Lyon, and E. G. Ryan were Mr. Baker's correspondents. Were it de- 
sired, almost a complete set of signers of the first constitution could be 
derived from these papers. For the territorial and early state period 
they constitute almost a compendium of famous Wisconsin men. 

The subjects with which they deal are almost as numerous as their 
writers; religious and social conditions, political aflSliations and intrigue, 
business methods and morals, agriculture and land speculations, the 
beginnings of roads and railroads, inventions and scientific progress, 
the growth of education and reform — all these and many other phases of 
our early history are glimpsed in these letters. At first connected with 
the Baptists, later Judge Baker became a faithful member of the Pres- 
byterian Church with many of whose early missionaries and ministers 
he corresponded. Educationally he was interested in Geneva Academy, 
Beloit College, and the Delavan School for the Deaf. Several letters 
and circulars from the early superintendents of public instruction, Azel 
P. Ladd and Lyman C. Draper, have an antiquarian interest; one issued 
in 1849 on behalf of the state university requesting objects for its 
**cabinet" or museum is a rare pamphlet. During his term as revisor of 
statutes Judge Baker came into intimate contact with some of the 
early printers and editors of the state. He was also appointed by the 
territorial legislature of 1844 to buy books for the territorial state library 
with an appropriation therefor of three hundred dollars. Among the 
reform movements that had his sympathy were the temperance agita- 
tion, which was very active in the early fifties, when an attempt was 
made to introduce the "Maine law" into Wisconsin; and the antislavery 
movement to whose Kansas funds he contributed; he appears also to 
have voted in 1856 for "Fremont and Freedom," as urged to do by 
circulars and letters found in this collection. 

Among the business papers those are most interesting that deal 
with early speculation in wheat, and its purchase and export from Racine 
and Kenosha, then Southport. Prices were governed by the sales in 
Buffalo and the shifting of freight rates on the lake steamers; they 
ranged from sixty cents a bushel to one dollar and thirty-five — the 
highest quotation in 1859. Among other prices, butter at fourteen 
cents attracts our notice; while as for wages, a good lumberman received 
in 1846 sixteen dollars a month; a teacher in 1844 offered his services for 
a twelve-weeks' term for twenty dollars and board. Wisconsin as a 

The Society and the State 


debtor community dependent upon Eastern investors appears largely 
in these papers. Baker's business consisted in great part of agencies 
for such investors (one of whom was Horatio Seymour of New York) 
for debt collection houses, and in foreclosures of overdue mortgages. 
Interest rates were ruinous; twelve per cent was usual; in time of scar- 
city money was held at six per cent a month. No wonder young mer- 
chants and other debtors were obliged to take advantage of the bank- 
ruptcy law. 

The first interest of the pioneers of Wisconsin was in land, the 
second in means of transportation. Mr. Baker early became a promo- 
ter of railways, and a considerable chapter on the financing of our first 
railways may be written from the material in these papers. The eager 
efforts of the several communities to secure a railroad, their local com- 
petitions, the farm mortgages issued by the agricultural communities, 
the efforts for combination, for legislative aid, the scramble for land 
grants, the difficulties over rights of way — all these features of early 
railway building are exemplified in this collection. In 1870 there is an- 
other set of papers concerning the State Line and Union Railroad of 
which Mr. Baker was president. This road was ultimately purchased 
by the Chicago and Northwestern. These papers show a more advanced 
stage of railway operations; the correspondence is with men of impor- 
tance in the transportation world. It is interesting to learn that it was 
proposed to iron the road with English rails, shipped from Liverpool 
to New Orleans, thence via the Mississippi to some river port. 

For political history the Baker papers are most useful during the 
territorial period and the earliest years of statehood. It was in those 
years that Mr. Baker held office and was intimately connected with the 
government. He was then recognized not only as one of the leaders of 
the Wisconsin bar, but as a political power of importance in the southern 
portion of the territory. Strongly Democratic in his allegiance, he 
had little affiliation with the Doty and Tallmadge faction of the terri- 
torial government; indeed he lost his office as district attorney in the 
Whig overturn of 1842-43. One of the most interesting letters of the col- 
lection is from Henry Dodge, then territorial delegate, commenting on 
Doty's methods with the legislature and his "pull" with the federal 
administration. Comment on Tallmadge's regime is somewhat less 
acrimonious, but in no wise friendly. One interesting bypath of political 
history is the small Dodge boom in 1852 for the presidency. 

While Mr. Baker was in the territorial council he received many 
letters from his constituency attempting to influence or to dictate his 
action. This shows how in a small community, practically homogene- 
ous, direct democracy can exist under the form of representative govern- 
ment. Mr. Baker's constituents did not hesitate to tell him that they 
expected him to vote in accordance with their wishes and interests. 
It was assumed in the legislature he was there to get what they wanted. 

For the convention period of the territory the material is interesting. 
During the progress of the convention Mr. Baker received letters of 
criticism; and he himself wrote to his family an account of the eonven- 

Survey of Historical Activities 

tion's progress. Some political enemy attempted to accuse Mr. Baker 
of Sabbath breaking because he met with several members of a commit- 
tee in an informal discussion on that holy day. During the ratification 
campaign Mr. Baker received many letters from the friends of the 
constitution. One of these accused the anticonstitution faction of using 
money in Milwaukee to defeat its adoption. Edward G. Ryan, the 
chief supporter of the first constitution, wrote several times to Mr. 
Baker on the issues involved. The delegates to the convention received 
their pay in scrip, which — so low was territorial credit — could not be 
passed even at a large discount. 

The second convention held and the new constitution adopted, the 
bulk of the papers for 1848 and 1849 relate to the new code of which Mr. 
Baker was a revisor. He wrote during that time for the New York and 
Louisiana laws. The problem of printing, however, was the vexed 
question. The contract for this was a coveted political plum, which 
was finally secured by C. Latham Sholes. Having no facilities for so 
large an enterprise, Sholes arranged with an Albany firm for the printing. 
He, however, directed Mr. Baker, who spent a winter at the capital of 
New York assisting in the production, to have the title-page read 
**Southport, Wisconsin," which it does to this day. The contract, sup- 
posedly so favorable to Mr. Sholes, in fact caused him considerable loss. 
He was finally assisted by an additional appropriation upon which he 
honorably discharged all his debt to Mr. Baker, leaving nothing for 
himself from the wreck, except an unsaleable number of unbound 

For the period of the fifties, the political material is less both in 
amount and in importance than for the preceding decade. There are 
some letters on the Barstow-Bashford controversy, in which Mr. Baker 
and his friends sided with Governor Barstow. The treasurer's defalca- 
tion of 1856 is noted; and there is comment on Matt Carpenter's ante- 
war career. As the Civil War approached the letters speak with enthu- 
siasm of Lincoln as the "man of the hour." After the firing on Sumter 
communities were a "blaze of patriotic feeling." It is interesting to the 
members of our Society to learn that Dr. Draper, its secretary in 1861, 
wrote to Mr. Baker one week after the commencement of the war that 
he desired to go out with the Wisconsin troops in some capacity that 
would enable him to collect materials for a History of Wisconsin Volun- 
teers. It had been suggested that he go as division or brigade inspector 
or as paymaster for Wisconsin troops and he bespeaks Mr. Baker's 
recommendation for such an office — for which, as we know, he failed to 
receive the appointment. One cannot but speculate upon the wealth 
of materials which he might so easily have obtained had he been per- 
mitted to carry out his plan — materials, the remnants of which the 
Society is still collecting by slow and difficult processes. 

For war materials in the Baker papers we are indebted principally 
to his correspondents in the field, one of whom was a baker who des- 
cribed the bread machine with which he turned out vast quantities of 
loaves daily. One of the letters gives an apparently unpublished anec- 

The Society and the State 


dote of Col. Halbert E. Paine, who was arrested because he refused "to 
deHver up a panting bleeding iron-collared slave who had sought refuge 
within the lines of his Regt. from the brutality of a Rebel master; 
Col. Pain choosing rather to obey the Law of Congress and of Humanity 
rather than the orders of a Pro-Slavery General and take the conse- 
quences." It is also interesting to note that an Eastern investor writes 
in 1863' that * 'greenbacks" were worth only fifty cents on the dollar 
and that he does not believe that government will ever redeem them. 
One of Mr. Baker's correspondents comments on the amount of southern 
sympathy in the southwestern part of the state. On the other hand an 
ardent government supporter proposed that party politics be sus- 
pended, all nominations be made nonpartisan, and of men who would 
stand by the administration. Even as early as 1862 speculation and 
peculation in war contracts received comment; and at its close the num- 
ber of lawyers who embarked in the profitable business of war claims 
was noticeable. One of Mr. Baker's correspondents took a government 
lease of a plantation in the recovered part of Tennessee. His discussion 
of terms and profits as well as of the abilities of his freedmen employees 
throws an interesting sidelight on war economics. Another letter 
described the Northwestern Sanitary Fair held in the autumn of 1863 
at Chicago as "a great occasion & the Master? spirits of the enterprise 
are Women — ^prompt, active, energetic, systematic, wise & far seeing 
in their deliberations, & vigorous to execute their plans, and the whole 
crowned with Woman's sympathy for the sick & wounded, they are 
going to place this great North West of ours, high up in the Temple of 

By far the most significant of the war material of this collection is 
concerned with the draft. In 1864 and 1865 Mr. Baker was in the office 
of the provost marshal at Milwaukee and appears to have preserved 
some of the official papers addressed to Captain Irving M. Bean as well 
as to himself. There were accusations of unfairness on the part of some 
commissioners, which were repudiated by General Arthur McArthur 
and others in authority. The bulk of the papers relates to exemptions 
for age, disability, dependents, and noncitizenship. Communities were 
active in filling their quota of volunteers to avoid the draft and raised 
large sums for bounties. A constant source of complaint and misunder- 
standing was the assignment of the local quotas. Some of the local 
communities formed Draft Clubs which promised to supply the number 
of drafted men required from their numbers by consent and agreement. 
The pressure of the draft was felt as a heavy burden to be lightened by 
volunteering. There was some fraud and chicanery reported; the letters 
of informers are unpleasant reading. 

Mr. Baker left the draft office at Milwaukee in May, 186.5; soon 
after his departure the office was closed. With the exception of the 
railway projects of the early seventies already mentioned, he sooms to 
have lived thereafter in retirement. His death occurred at Lake (tone va 
February 5, 1872. One of his latest tasks was to revise for t lie Historical 
Society a paper on the "Pioneer History of Walworth County," which 


Survey of Historical Activities 

he had originally read at an old settlers' society reunion in 1869. This 
work is published in the sixth volume of our Collections. Mr. Baker's 
portrait was presented to the Society in 1878 by his widow. It is fitting 
therefore that this Society should be the repository of the papers of this 
pioneer; and it is so recognized by his grandson, Edward Larrabee Baker 
of Lake Forest, Illinois, who has preserved this series of early papers 
and in February, 1920 gave it to the Society for the benefit of the public. 

Louise P. Kellogg 


Major General William G. Haan ("The Division as a Fighting 
Machine") was the commanding officer of the Thirty-second or "Red 
Arrow" Division in the Great War. The paper we have the privilege 
of printing is the address which he gave before the annual meeting of 
the Society in October, 1919. 

Dr. Joseph Schafer ("Muscoda, 1763-1856" and "The Wisconsin 
Domesday Book") the new superintendent of the Society, comes to us 
from Oregon where he was head of the history department in the state 
university. Born in Grant County, he is making a series of local 
studies of that locality; he is also planning a forward movement in 
collecting basic sources for Wisconsin history. 

Julius E. Olson ("Lincoln in Wisconsin") is professor of Scandinavian 
languages and literature at the University of Wisconsin. He is editor 
of the first volume in the Original Narratives of Early American History 
reproduced under the auspices of the American Historical Association. 

W. A. Titus ("Historic Spots in Wisconsin: IV. The Battle of 
Wisconsin Heights") of Fond du Lac gives us the fourth of his series 
of Wisconsin sites noted for their historical interest. 


Reproduced by courtesy of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey 

VOL. IV A) .^ 




tendent, MILO M. QUAIFE, Editor 



The Trails of Northern Wisconsin 

James H, McManus 125 

Colonel Hans Christian Heg . Theodore C. Blegen 140 
The Panic of 186£ in Wisconsin. . If . if. Quaife 166 
Historic Spots in Wisconsin W. A. Titus 196 

Co-Operation Between the State Historical 
Society and Local Societies. . . .Joseph Schafer 200 


Letters of a Badger Boy in Blue : Life at Old Camp 
Randall 208 

The Question Box: 

The Old Church on Madeline Island; The Name of 
Monde vi; Naming a Marathon County Farm; 
Tennessee Prisoners at Fort Mackinac 218 

Communications : 

Recollections of the Sioux Massacre of 1862 222 

Survey of Historical Activities : 

The Society and the State 224 

The Society as a body is not responsible for statements or opinions advanced 
in the following pages by contributors. 


James H. McManus 

Trails are the ways in which primitive men and animals 
travel; they run largely along the same lines in all ages; 
even birds have fly -ways in the air, and fishes of the sea 
have paths in the deep. The generations of today follow the 
lines of the past. There is a wonderful fascination in finding 
an old trail; in tracing its winding course, as determined by 
hill, valley, stream, lake, forest, or other natural feature, 
or even by mere human whim, and in speculating on the 
causes determining its location here rather than yonder, 
and on the people by whom it was used. 

In order accurately to locate old and long forgotten 
trails one must have a knowledge of the topography of the 
region through which they run. In tracing the trail for 
marking, one must make his way over the ground and often 
determine the location by inquiring where lay the line of 
least resistance. Along the land and water trails of the 
North are yet to be found many winding portage paths 
around falls and rapids. At many other places the portage 
routes led over barren rocks of quartzite or slate set on edge 
^ and unaffected by the moccasined feet of the ancient voya- 
ger; in such places one must determine where the passage 
could be made with least effort and in the shortest distance. 
The process of erosion of either these resistant rocks or 
clays is so slow that little or no change has been made since 
the first man came to the region; so if one has good judg- 
ment and has been thorough in his search he can feel sure 
that he has located the trail correctly. At many of the 
portages one side of the stream is impossible of passage by 
reason of precipitous cliffs or high banks. Sometimes one is 
at an utter loss and has to make his way as best he can 


James H. McManus 

around the obstruction, only to find a well-defined trail at 
the other end of the portage leading far aside over easy- 
ground into the forest, returning to the stream far distant 
from where the search for it had been made. Nevertheless 
there is no doubt as to the general location of the northern 
trails. Indeed, such is the character of the region they could 
not have been located elsewhere. 

In the northern part of the state, extending from the 
Michigan boundary to that of Minnesota, is a region which 
is termed by geologists the Northern Highland of Wiscon- 
sin. 'Tar back in the geological past," says Martin, "prob- 
ably twenty -five to one hundred million years ago, Wiscon- 
sin was part of a mountainous region which covered all 
this state and much territory outside. It had peaks and 
ridges similar to those in the Alps. . . . The fossils in the 
overlying sedimentary rocks show that these mountains are 
among the oldest in the world." The highest ridge in this 
region today has for its eastern end the Penokee Iron 
Range and extends westward in a series of high, rocky eleva- 
tions. This ridge ''is formed in some places by the harder 
portions of the Huronian iron formation, in other places by 
resistant quartzite, quartz slate, slaty schist, gneiss, or 
other met amorphic rocks. ^" 

This ridge extends east and west across the state, some 
miles north of the watershed between the Mississippi River 
and Lake Superior. The streams flowing north are for the 
most part short and their upper reaches flow through rocky 
beds, with steep rapids of white foaming water, finally 
plunging over high falls and then running in slack water 
channels to the lake. The streams running south are far 
longer and their upper reaches run in flat, sluggish channels 
through swamps and lakes. On the broad, flat watershed 
their source branches interlock with those of the northward 
flowing streams in such manner that their channels are not \ 


1 Lawrence Martin, The Physical Geography of Wisconsin (Madison, 1916), 347, 356. | 

The Trails of Northern Wisconsin 127 

far apart, while the water flows in opposite directions. 
Some of the swamps and even some of the lakes have the 
distinction of furnishing water for both the greatest of lakes 
and the greatest of rivers. In midsummer, in dry season, 
these streams flow in lazy currents and seem to glide noise- 
lessly around the huge rocks obstructing their passage. In 
the springtime when the warm rains melt the snows of 
winter, or in summer floods when torrents of rain fall on the 
steep sides of the hills, the water of the northward flowing 
streams, rushing down the steep short valleys, transforms 
them into mountain torrents; these in turn swell the main 
streams, which, rushing down their narrow channels in 
tumultuous waves, overflowing their banks and often filling 
the whole deep gorge, plunge over high falls with a thunder- 
ous roar which may be heard for miles. Some of the streams 
in their passage of the hills have several high falls — some- 
times close together and sometimes separated by long miles 
of deep cut valley with hills that are almost mountains. Such 
is the Potato River east of Upson in Iro,n County. Below 
the last fall some, like the Bad River, flow with sluggish 
currents in narrow, winding valleys cut deep in the resistant 
clay. Others when near the lake drop over high walls of 
sandstone and then flow to the lake through beautiful 
glens with perpendicular or overhanging walls of brown and 
variegated sandstone. The clay banks of these valleys 
stand at an angle as steep as seventy -five degrees and in 
their upper reaches are very narrow, often V shaped, with 
their walls rising from the water's edge. 

North of the ridge between these major streams are in- 
numerable smaller ones that rise in springs far up its side; 
many flow out of crevices in the metamorphic rocks, while 
others seep out from under the beds of clay where they rest 
on the rock foundation. These streams all flow in crooked, 
winding channels cut deep in the clay bods, uniting with 
others to form larger streams, and ultimately falling into the 

128 James H. McManus 

major streams or following independent courses to the 

In the region south of Ashland the broad flat quartzite 
ridge drops down in a steep slope forming the east wall of a 
well-defined, wide valley covered with glacial sands and 
morainic hills. South of Superior the quartzite hills again 
rise high in air to the south of a wide clay plain extending 
from their base to the lake. On the north slope of these 
latter hills is found the highest waterfall in Wisconsin, 160 
feet high, where the Black River drops from the ridge to the 
plain below.2 In all this plain is an ever-present network of 
small streams in their deep valleys. Upon all this vast, 
rugged region with its deep valleys and lofty hills is super- 
imposed a dense forest; on the glacial sand this consists of 
pine; elsewhere, of pine, hemlock, red and white birch, 
maple, oak, linden, balsam, spruce, and cedar. Over all the 
clay plain low swales of cat-tail marshes wind along on the 
ridges between the valleys, lined with willow, alder, and 
other shrubby growths, making travel on the ridges extreme- 
ly difficult. South of the quartzite ridge, lakes and swamps 
abound with similar forest conditions. 

Whence came the first men into this region, no one 
knows; what races have lived here, none can tell. By just 
what ways they traveled to and fro is unknown. We only 
know some ways were not passable; here they evidently did 
not go. Other ways were passable; here they may have 
gone. Tradition tells its story and says by stream, in river 
valley, on high ridge, over mountain top, through deep-cut 
gap, beside lakes, and across plains— here ran the ancient 
trails. These were the ways of the Indians from earliest 
times. Written records tell of the trails of adventurers, 
explorers, fur traders, and hunters. Men still living have 
seen these ancient trails on land widened and fitted to the 

2 This fall is embraced in the Pattison Park recently given to the state by the 
heirs of Martin Pattison of Superior. 

The Trails of Northern Wisconsin 


lumberman's use as tote roads, while on the water his 
staunch bateau and flatboat supplanted the Indians' frail 
bark canoe. Settlers and homemakers who made the coun- 
try roads are still with us. Then came the railway with 
its long lines of steel track; and now the state highways 
are penetrating this region. Thus in the same valley, 
through the same mountain pass and across the same plain, 
in practically the same lines have run the trails and ways of v 
the ages. 

The long, quartzite ridge of the North is cut by several 
valleys known as passes or gaps. Some of these are occupied 
by considerable streams; others, called wind gaps, were 
doubtless filled with streams long ago, when the watershed 
to the south was higher than now. We have no positive 
evidence that the wind gaps were ever used as trails. Begin- 
ning at the east the gaps filled with streams are the Mon- 
treal, West Hurley, Rocking Bridge filled with the Gogo- 
gashugun or West Fork, Hoyt, Potato River, Tyler's, 
Carries or Devil's Creek, Whittlesey, Penokee carrying 
Bad River, Marengo, White, Fish Creek, Iron, and Bois 

The first white men who came into this region by way of 
Lake Superior found Indian trading parties making their 
way along the south shore of the lake, paddling their light 
bark canoes from point to point in calm weather and seeking 
shelter in some protecting bay or river mouth in time of 
storm. These trading parties made their way as far as 
distant Montreal in Lower Canada. Upon the return trip 
the larger parties separated, as the several bands composing 
them reached the lake end of the trail leading to their home- 
land beyond the high ridge to the south, or to their settle- 
ments on the shore of the lake. Thus the trails of the North 
may be regarded as a comprehensive system with the water- 
way along the south shore of Lake Superior constituting the 
trunk line and the water and land trails leading up the 


James H, McManus 

streams, across the flat plain, through the gaps of the ridge 
over the divide, and down the several streams as the 
branches. There were doubtless many short trails connect- 
ing these main ones ; but in our study we are concerned only 
with the chief travel ways. 

The first of these great trails led up the Montreal Valley. 
The water portion of the trail was on the boundary between 
Wisconsin and Michigan; the land portion partly in Michi- 
gan and partly in Wisconsin. The landing from the lake 
was made at the river mouth below the lower fall, which is 
seventy-eight feet high and stands back from the shore 
one-fourth of a mile. In its natural state the wall of this 
fall was perpendicular but it has been blasted down by lum- 
bermen to permit log driving. In the olden time the scene 
must have been one of wondrous beauty, with the primeval 
forest perched on the high, rocky cliffs and the high fall 
distinctly visible from the lake. At the very beginning of 
this trail there was a long, hard carry up the steep bank 
around the falls. From the top of this climb the way led 
through rough water rushing down the stream's rocky bed 
with many portages around rapids until the upper fall was 
reached, just below the site of the present city of Hurley. 
This upper fall is forty feet high; its portage path is on the 
Wisconsin side over high walls of rough rock around a long 
reach of sharp rapids between high hills which open at the 
upper end into a wide, flat meadow bordered with high 

It would be appropriate to preserve this entire valley 
from Hurley to the Lake as an interstate park to commemo- 
rate this trail, one of the most famous and most used of the 
entire region. In recent years the forest has been cut away, 
but the mighty gorge remains as it was when man first 
beheld it, and time, the great healer, can restore the forest. 
Already the dense second growths have covered the scars 
of the spoiler and need only to be protected from fire to 

Map drawn by Mary S. Foster 


James H. McManus 

reproduce the forest in its splendor. This gorge for the 
entire length of the river is one of the roughest passes of the 
quartzite hills. Immense boulders, huge of base and many 
feet high, literally block the channel. At other places the 
stream runs between blocks of granite, where it is literally 
set on edge, and then flows down steep, wide chutes in rag- 
ing torrents on which no boat could live. Above these the 
land becomes level, and the stream flows between high 
banks lined with balsam, spruce, and cedar, without a 
ripple to roughen its surface, until the voyager begins again 
to encounter flecks of foam on the water telling of further 
obstructions above. DiflScult as this trail was in its lower 
reaches it was more so in the upper stretches by reason of the 
deep, soft swamps that closed in on the rocky bed of the 
stream forcing long portage detours. Once through the 
hills, the water route led to the source of the river; thence by 
land, by lakes, and various streams to the headwaters of the 
Menominee River and down that stream to Green Bay. 
This trail crossed the headwaters of the Wisconsin River 
and the northern portion of the vast lake region of north- 
eastern Wisconsin. At Lac Vieux Desert, the source of the 
Wisconsin River, it intersected the trail up the Ontonagon 
River of Michigan. 

Difficult as this trail was, it afforded a shorter and safer 
route to Green Bay than the all-lake route around the Upper 
Peninsula of Michigan and was used by Indians, white 
hunters, trappers, adventurers, and fur traders alike. Near 
the headwaters of the Montreal, up a western branch, a 
trail led off to the eastern headwaters of the Flambeau 
River. In the later days of the fur trade the traders estab- 
lished an all-land trail from Lake Superior to the first of the 
lakes in the northern Wisconsin lake region. The canoes 
were kept at the landing on the interior lake; all goods 
were carried overland both ways between Superior and the 
inland lake on the backs of men, known as packers. It is not 

The Trails of Northern Wisconsin 


certain where this lake was; different ones may have been 
used by different companies or at different times. Starting 
at Lake Superior on the east bank of the Montreal, this trail 
led up to the ridge between the Black Creek and the Mon- 
treal and followed it to a point opposite Hurley. Here it 
crossed to the west side of the Montreal and followed the 
higher ground west of the river near the line of the North- 
western Railroad from Milwaukee to Ashland. The west 
fork of the Montreal falls into the east fork a short distance 
above the lower falls. Up this stream a trail led over rough 
water, around a heavy fall where the Northwestern Railroad 
from Hurley to Ashland crosses at the foot of a cliff, up 
short stretches of quiet water, then around roaring rapids 
with mountain torrents to the upper falls, around this and 
then on to the source with a land portage over the divide 
to the sources of the western Flambeau.^ 

The next great trail to the west led up the slack water of 
the Bad River to the mouth of the White, just west of the 
Indian village of Odanah on the Bad River Reservation of 
the Lake Superior band of Chippewa Indians. Here the 
trail divided, the east branch holding on up the slack water 
of Bad River to the foot of the first fall, fifteen miles from 
the lake. Once above this fall, there began a series of short 
water passes, succeeded by long land carries around torren- 
tial rapids, past the beautiful falls of the Potato River just 
above where it empties into the Bad River, on through the 
Penokee Gap, thence over the slack water of the region 
between the Gap and the divide. This region is covered west 
of the Soo Railroad with a vast marsh through which the 
Bad River flows with sluggish current. A dense growth of 
balsam, spruce, and cedar lines the swamp on either side, 
with the stream washing, first one side, then the other, in its 
winding course. From the head of the swamp there is a 

' For a description of the Montreal-Flambeau trail as used by a trader see "Malhiot's 
Journal" in Wisconsin Historical Collections^ XIX, 177-81. 


James H. McManus 

stretch of rough water to the source on the divide, from 
which point a land trail led to the waters of the Chippewa. 
The other branch of the Bad River trail followed the chan- 
nel of the White River over slack water flowing between 
swamps of tall balsam and cedar with taller spruce and 
tamarack as marked features, while the high banks were 
covered with great pines. This reach of slack water is some 
twelve miles long to the rapids. Over these far less difiicult 
rapids the trail led to the slack water in the great swamp 
south of Mason ; then on up the Long Lake branch to Long 
Lake, over this beautiful sheet of water to its head, thence 
over the divide to the waters of the Namekagon, a tribu- 
tary of the St. Croix.^ This was one of the least difiicult 
of all the passes of the ridge, lying as it did in the stream's 
middle reaches, in the low, wide valley beyond the west 
end of the Penokee Range. 

Above the first fall of the Bad River another trail 
branched off to the west and ran up the Marengo River. 
This is one of the most beautiful of the northern highland 
valleys. While the water of the stream is swift in many 
places, there are few rocks in the river bed, and the high 
bluffs which wall in the narrow valley are formed in pleasing 
lines and covered with pine, hemlock, maple, and birch. 
Here are found many groves of the beautiful canoe or white 
birch, a striking feature with their snow-white bark set in 
the somber browns and greens of the pines and hemlocks. 
Many beaver dams still exist, forming long ponds of dark, 
still water, with many houses still used by a numerous 
colony of beavers. The middle reach of this stream is cut 
low down on a nearly level grade to the falls. These tumble 
down over two distinct ledges of nearly perpendicular 
quartzite rock. The lower fall is about forty feet high, the 

* According to information obtained from L. E. Thomas of Shell Lake this Bad River 
trail was the route taken by the traders to the Court d'Oreilles region. It was also followed 
by way of the St. Croix River to the Mississippi; see Doty's description of 1820 in Wis. 
Hist. Colls., VII, 203-204. 

The Trails of Northern Wisconsin 135 

upper one about twenty feet, and stands back only a short 
space from the lower. Standing at the foot of the fall, as I 
first saw it, before the trees were cut away, in the vast 
amphitheater, it required but little imagination to transform 
it into a glorious cathedral with the steep hills, adorned 
with ferns, for walls, and the tall, stately trunks of the trees 
for pillars, their huge limbs like girders upholding the roof 
formed of the mass of branches and their leafy covering. 
Only subdued and diffused light ever reached the floor of 
the valley. A throng of birds filled the whole place with 
soft melody, while the sound of the water on the fall seemed 
distant, subdued, resonant, like the peal of a deep-toned 
organ. It is not strange that the Indian found in this place 
the habitation of his "minnow munodoo" or good spirit. 
Without question this is one of the most picturesque of all 
the northern trails. The whole valley for seven to ten 
miles, at least down from the head of the falls, should have 
been preserved with all its forest grandeur as a state park. 
Even now, after being despoiled by the lumberman's axe, 
it is worth preserving and reforesting. The carry up the 
steep hills around this fall was difficult; but from the top to 
the divide the route was easy, and the land portage was short 
to the waters of the St. Croix. 

Of the fleet of canoes remaining after the departure of 
the several bands which made use of the trails we have 
described, the larger number held their way across the 
channels opening out of Chequamegon Bay, one to the 
south, one to the north; while some turned into the Bay 
and held their way to the west. Of these latter, a small 
band probably turned into the Kakagan River and con- 
tinued on tidewater to the mouth of the Bear Trap River, 
then up that stream about three miles, and over a land 
trail to the upper White River. Another band may have 
landed near the present site of Ashland and ])r()cccdc(l over- 
land to the White River. This was a hard trail, leading 


James H. McManus 

across many deep, steep-walled valleys in the resistant clay; 
but it must have been splendid in its grandeur, since it 
passed through a heavy pine forest. 

A combined water and land trail led up Fish Creek. This 
was an easy way with no falls, as the creek is cut low in the 
clay beds on the lower reaches and in the sand beds on the 
upper reaches and occupies the wide gap between the west 
end of the Penokee Range and the high quartzite ridges to 
the west. This trail intersected and followed the Brunson 
Trail which I have described in an earlier issue of this 

Another band probably landed on the north shore of 
Chequamegon Bay at the mouth of Bono Creek and fol- 
lowed an all-land trail up the long, narrow, flat ridge east of 
the creek northward to the height of land, thence around 
the headwaters of the creeks falling into the bay, including 
Fish Creek, west of the waters of White River, and along 
the eastern end of the western range of quartzite hills to the 
western sources of the St. Croix River, and their numerous 

The most important of the all- Wisconsin trails, and most 
interesting because of its importance, wa^ the Bois Brule- 
St. Croix River trail. This pass has an added interest 
because it was one of the outlets of the great glacial lake 
which so filled the basin of Lake Superior that its waters 
rushed through the Brule River Gap and discharged into the 
St. Croix Valley. The Brule now discharges its water into 
Lake Superior after flowing over many steep rapids and 
falls. However, there are many long reaches of still, 
smooth flowing water, many of which are ponds made by 
the numerous beaver dams ; and notwithstanding the carries 
around falls and rapids, this trail is far easier than any of the 
others we have described except that of the White River. 
It was the favorite route of voyagers between the upper 

5 "A Forgotton Trail," In Wisconsin Magazine of History, December, 1919, 139-52. 

The Trails of Northern Wisconsin 


Mississippi and St. Croix rivers and Lake Superior. At the 
I source of the Bois Brule the water flows out of the north end 
of a long, swampy lake, while the St. Croix flows from the 
south end. However, the voyagers left the Brule some 
distance below the swamp and carried on land entirely 
around it.^ 

It is interesting to note how the railroads and highways, 
run in relation to these ancient trails. The Northwestern 
Railroad line from Chicago to Ashland occupies the valley 
of the Montreal in such manner that the traveler catches 
many views of that torrential stream from its source to the 
narrow gap below Hurley, where the road swings west 
through West Hurley Gap across the Gogogashugan above 
the lower falls and skirts along and around the base of a 
great hill just before it enters upon the flat plain across 
which it runs to Ashland. 

The Soo line from Chicago to Ashland occupies the val- 
ley of the Bad River from its source down to the upper fall 
just below the city of Mellen, at the site of the Bad River 
power plant. There it swings to the west, skirting for miles 
the north base of the high ridge across the beautiful valleys 
of the Brunsweiler and Marengo, and then stretches away 
»ito Ashland. 

The branch of the Soo from Hurley to Mellen crosses the 
Gogogashugan some way above the Northwestern Railroad 
and the Potato River at Upson, just above the upper fall; 
it then crosses the divide into the valley of the Tyler Fork, 
follows that valley for several miles west, then passes over 
another divide to the Bad River at Mellen. There was an 
Indian trail along this line leading into the vast region of 
beaver dams on the upper reaches of the Potato River, 
Tyler's Fork, and their tributaries, intersecting and crossing 
all trails up the streams from the Montreal to the Bad River. 

"See detailed description of this route in "Curot's Journal," in Wis. Hut. ColU., 
XX, 401-408, especially notes 32 and 34, pp. 405 and 406. 

138 James H. McManus 

This must have been a famou:5 game and fur region, as 
beaver and other fur bearing animals abound even today, 
while deer are found in great abundance, with a few wolves j 
and bear. \ 

The Omaha Railroad from Spooner to Superior and thej 
Soo Road from Spencer to Superior both follow near thej 
Bois Brule trail from Solon Springs to below Gordon. 

The Omaha Road from Spooner to Ashland enters the i 
White River Valley north of Cable, following it down to 
Mason, then over the divide into the Fish Creek Valley j 
thence to the Bay and along the shore to Ashland, ever ini 
sight of the old White River and Fish Creek trails to Name- 

The state trunk highways recently laid out follow closely j 
the same lines; in fact, the physical features of the country) 
are such that they could not do otherwise. 

A fine scenic highway might be constructed jointly by ^ 
Wisconsin and Michigan along the interstate boundary « 
from the lower end of Green Bay up the Menominee River 
through one of the most picturesque lake regions in the^ 
world, then down the Montreal, crossing and recrossing 
at points of special interest, to its mouth; thence it should 
be continued along the crest of the bluffs on the south shore I 
of Lake Superior to Odanah, Ashland, and Washburn. Aj 
branch of this highway, if built from Hurley west along the \ 
base of the ridge at the butt of the quartzite escarpment, I 
would pass near the lower falls of all streams breaking 
through the range. This road might be extended to the Minne- 
sota state line and the falls of the St. Louis River; at various t 
points interstate and state parks might be established. ' 
The cost of such an improvement would be large, but it 
would be a wise expenditure. It would bring the tourist 
into scenes of mountain grandeur; it would follow or inter- 
sect all of the ancient trails, and make of Wisconsin the 
wildest and most beautiful playground accessible to the 

The Trails of Northern Wisconsin 


people of the Middle West. Here are rivers which began to 
flow when the first land appeared above the waves of the 
universal sea; here the story of the origin of our state is 
carved deep in enduring granite; here is the forest, indeed 
not primeval, but sturdy in its youthful growths, like a 
mighty giant, striving to cover up the marks of the des- 
poiler's hand; here are specimens of nearly every species of 
northern plants; here yet are found the bear, wolf, and deer, 
with many other beasts of the forest; here the muskrat, 
martin, mink, otter, coon, and beaver all abound; here trout 
fill all the streams, while pickerel, the great northern pike, 
muskalunge, and bass abound in the lakes; here are yet 
found picturesque and interesting aborigines who possess 
knowledge and legend yet untold to any but those of their 
own race; here are the monuments of the past, a rich field for 
the antiquarian; here to the north ever abides the world's 
greatest freshwater lake; here to the south are the founda- 
tions of America's greatest mountains, which were and are 
not, because of the irresistible tendency of all organism to 
decay; here, over all, is that mighty arch of sky that no- 
where is richer in its blue or more brilliant in its lights; 
here is health, as one opens wide his lungs and breathes in 
the pure air and drinks from springs of living water. 

One should come hither in the spring when all the land- 
scape is covered with bloom, when the air is surcharged 
with fragrance, and when at morn and eve the feathered 
choir fills the woodland with liquid melody; and then abide 
through the delightful, cool, dreamy summer, on into the 
autumn when the forest takes on its most gorgeous dress 
and stands adorned in festive robes of tints and hues possi- 
ble only to the brush of the Divine Artist. 


Theodore C. Blegen 

Hans Christian Heg was bom at Lier, near Drammen, 
Norway, on December 21, 1829 — about four and one-half 
years after the pathfinders of the Norwegian emigration to 
America sailed out from Stavanger for the New World. 
Hans was one of the four children of an innkeeper, named 
Even Hansen Heg, and his wife. Drammen was a small 
city in the southern part of Norway, a few miles southwest 
from the capital, Christiania. Its inhabitants were in close 
touch with the emigration movement from its earliest 
stages. Ole Nattestad's little book describing his journey 
to the United States was published in Drammen in 1839;^ 
and in the spring of that year, his brother, Ansten Natte- 
stad, with about one hundred emigrants, sailed from Dram- 
men for New York.^ The Heg family was, naturally, in- 
fluenced by these events; America and its golden oppor- 
tunities had become the most interesting topic of the day 
in its part of the world. 

A group of about forty emigrants who failed to secure 
accommodation aboard the ship carrying Ansten Natte- 
stad's company sailed from Skien in the spring of 1839. 
Led by John Nelson Luraas, they intended originally to 
make their way to the Norwegian settlement in Illinois. 
Upon their arrival in Milwaukee, however, they abandoned 
this plan and located instead on the shores of Lake Muske- 
go, a short distance south of Milwaukee, in modern Wauke- 
sha County, Wisconsin.^ During the winter of the same 
year two emigrants from Drammen, Soren Backe and 

^ A translation of this book, by Rasmus B. Anderson, is in the Wisconsin Magazine of 
History, I, 149-86. 

2 Theodore C. Blegen, "Two Norse Argonauts: Ole and Ansten Nattestad," The 
North Star (Minneapolis, Minn.), I, 420-22; II, 18-21. 

3 Billed-Magazin, I, 7, 10, 11. George T. Flom, History of Norwegian Immigration to 
the United States. . . to ISJ^S (Iowa City, la., 1909), 119-21. 

From a i)()rlrail in (irand Army Memorial llall, vStalr Capitol, Matlison 

Colonel Hans Christian Heg 


Johannes Johanneson, settled on the shores of Wind Lake, 
near Muskego.^ Even Heg may have been contemplating 
emigration for some time, but his decision seems to have 
been deferred until he received encouraging letters from 
these two acquaintances of his.^ 

In the spring of 1840 Even Heg and his wife, with their 
four children, started on the long journey to distant Wis- 
consin. The sale of his property at Lier enabled Heg to 
embark with considerable means in his possession — far 
more than the average emigrant had. He became the leader 
of a party including about thirty persons from Drammen 
and a smaller group from the district of Voss. On May 17 
they set sail from Drammen in the same ship that had 
carried the Nattestad group the year before. After touching 
at Gothenborg, Sweden, where a cargo of iron was secured, 
the ship sailed for America, reaching New York eleven 
weeks later. The immigrants followed the usual route to the 
west, going by river and canal to Buffalo, and thence by 
steamer on the Great Lakes to Milwaukee. The majority 
of the party disembarked here under Even Heg's leadership, 
though some of those from Voss continued the journey with 
the boat to Chicago. The objective of Even Heg was Mus- 
kego. The distance between Milwaukee and Muskego 
may now be covered in an hour by trolley, but for these 
immigrants in 1840 it was an arduous day's trip over a 
strange trail. ^ 

Muskego was a typical pioneer community.^ Hans Heg 
came to this settlement at the age of eleven and passed the 
remaining years of his youth amid its frontier conditions. 
His father. Even Heg, soon became the acknowledged 
leader of the colony, by virtue of his character as well as his 

* Billed-Magazin, I, 11-12. 

* Rasmus B. Anderson, First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration (1821-18^0) : Its 
Causes and Results (4th ed., Madison, 1906), 277-78. Cf. Flora, op. cit., 157-60. 

152, 159, 200-201. Billed-Magazin, I, 12-18. 
' See A. O. Barton, "The Old Muskego Settlement," Waukesha Fnrman. Sept. 7, 
14, 21, 1916. H. R. Holand, "Muskego," in Symra, III (1907). 187-96. BUlcd-Magazin, 
1, 10-13. Anderson, First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, 266-84. 


Theodore C. Blegen 

financial means. Shortly after his arrival he purchased th 
farm of John Nelson Luraas, leader of the settlers of 1839. 
This farm became the Mecca of hundreds of Norwegians ii 
search of homes in Wisconsin and the West.^ Here the^ 
received invaluable aid from Heg and his associates. Hos 
pitable and resourceful, Even Heg was always ready to d( 
his utmost for his compatriots. Especial interest attache 
to the large barn which he erected in 1843. The small lo| 
cabins of the settlers could not accommodate the grea 
numbers of immigrants who passed through Muskego oi 
their way to Koshkonong and other settlements. Heg' 
barn was open to all, and every summer saw it thronge< 
with large parties of newcomers who made it their hom< 
during the first days and weeks after their long journey fron 
Norway. After consulting with the Muskego settlers ii 
regard to the best lands for settlement, they started west 
ward. For some years Muskego had the distinction o 
being the objective point of the majority of the Norwegiai 
immigrants to America. Not only was the Heg barn i 
haven for the new arrivals, but it served for a long time ai 
the social and religious center of the community as well 
Before the arrival of a minister, lay services were conductec 
in the barn, at which Even Heg, among others, preached 
The famous pioneer minister, C. L. Clausen, preached her( 
upon his arrival at Muskego in 1843. Here he organized i 
congregation during the same year. Sunday school classei 
were held in the barn; in 1844 the Reverend Mr. Clausei 
confirmed the first class of children there. The barn was th( 
scene of baptisms as well as marriages. In 1844 an interest 
ing double wedding was celebrated in ''Even Heg's new 
home-sawed, oak frame barn." During the cholera epi 
demies which desolated the colony in the forties the ban 

8 Anderson, op. cit, 276, 
^ Billed-Magazin, I, 12-13. 

^° The settlement on Koshkonong Prairie in Dane County soon took precedence ovr 
Muskego in this respect, however. 

Colonel Hans Christian Heg 


served as a hospital. Typical of the spirit of the community 
was its enterprise in building a church, the first Norwegian 
Lutheran church in America, begun in 1843 and completed 
two years later. It is interesting to note that the ground 
for the new church was donated by the father of Hans 

Hans Heg became known in Muskego as a wide-awake 
and gifted boy. The financial means of his father's family, 
while somewhat more ample than the average, were never- 
theless insufficient to permit Hans to secure a higher educa- 
tion. As the son of an able and enterprising father, however, 
he had good opportunities and used them to advantage. He 
took pains to learn the English language thoroughly; at an 
early age he became familiar with the essential ideals and 
customs of America and informed himself upon the political 
questions of the day.^^ It was customary for Muskego 
settlers to accompany parties of immigrants to the newer 
places of settlement, and Hans in this way made frequent 
trips to the J eff erson. Rock, and Koshkonong Prairie settle- 
ments. An alert and keen young observer, he developed 
as a result of these excursions a deeper insight into American 
conditions.i3 On the most vital question of the time, 
slavery and its spread, he held positive views some years 
before he himself became of age. In this connection one 
circumstance possesses peculiar interest, not only with 
respect to the molding of the principles of Hans Heg, but also 
because of its significance for the attitude of the Norwegian 
element in America as a whole on the slavery question. 

Billed-Magazin, I, 12-13, has an account of the Heg barn and social conditions. Sec 
Flom, op. cit, 160-61 ; Anderson, First Chapter of Norwegian Im migration, 278-71). J. W. C\ 
Dietrichson, Reise blandt de norske Emigranter i " De forenede nordaiucrikariskr Fristafrr." 
(Stavanger, 1846 — reprinted Madison, Wis., 189C), 25 ff. contains a description of rcliglcnis 
conditions in the settlement. Cf. J. A. Bergh, Den norsk lutherskc Kirkcs Historic i Amcrika 
(Minneapolis, 1914), 11, 15-20. 

'2 Knud Langeland, "Oberst H. C. Heg," in J. A. Johnson, Dd Skandinaviskc Regi- 
ments Histoire {15de Wisconsin Regiment), En kortfattet Uidorie om dcts Organization og de 
Feldt-Toge, hvori det tog Del (La Crosse, Wis., 1869), 103. Langeland was an intimate 
friend of Colonel Heg. 

"Langeland Nordmaendene i Amerika; Nogle Optegnclscr am dc norskcs Udvandring 
til Amerika (Chicago, 1889), 46. 


Theodore C, Blegen 

This was the establishment of the first Norwegian news- 
paper pubHshed in the United States. 

This paper was called Nordlyset (The Northern Light). 
As early as 1845 James D. Reymert, a prominent member 
of the Muskego community, with others, urged the establish- 
ment of a newspaper. Two years later it became a reality, 
the necessary funds having been supplied by Even Heg 
and Soren Backe. The publishers were Heg, Backe, and 
Reymert, the latter being the editor. The early numbers 
of this newspaper, it is interesting to note, were printed in 
Even Heg's log cabin. The first number contained among 
other matters a translation of a portion of the Declaration 
of Independence ; at the head of the editorial column appear- 
ed a cut of the American flag. The significant point with 
respect to Nordlyset is that it became the Norwegian organ 
of the Free-soil party. In supporting the principles of this 
party it forecast accurately the course which the Norwegians 
in the United States were to take in the stirring political 
events of the next few decades. The office of Nordlyset 
became the political center of the community and was 
visited by many candidates for office who sought the 
support of the paper with a view to getting the "Nor- 
wegian vote." Hans Heg was eighteen years old when 
Nordlyset was established; in its offices, where he met many 
politicians, his own political talent began to develop. In 
the following year, 1848, he was an active worker for the 
Free-soil party. 

Gold was discovered in 1848 in the Sacramento Valley, 
and the following year witnessed the remarkable flocking 
of the gold hunters to California. The lure of gold stirred 
the spirit of adventure in Hans Heg. In 1849, at the age of 
twenty, with three companions he set out to join the army 

^* Langeland, in Johnson, Del Skandinaviske Regiments Historie, 104. See Emigranten 
(Inmansville, Wisconsin), May 20, 1853; Carl Hansen, "Pressen til Borgerkrigens slut- 
ning," in J. B. Wist, Norsk- Amerikanernes Festskrift 1914^ (Decorah, Iowa, 1914), 10 ff. 
A. O. Barton, "The Beginnings of the Norwegian Press in America," Wis. Hist. See. 
Proceedings for 1916, 190-96. 

Colonel Hans Christian Heg 


of Forty-niners. On March 26 the four young men, equip- 
ped with a sohd wagon and two yoke of oxen, started on the 
long overland journey.i^ Hannibal, Missouri, was reached 
on April 6, and St. Joseph on April 29. Some of Heg's 
letters, published in Nordlyset, give interesting details of 
the trip. Bad roads, lack of bridges, and other difficulties 
caused delays. Cholera in St. Joseph and rumors of danger 
from Indians caused many gold-seekers to turn back. But 
Heg and his companions went on.^^ In a letter from 
Savannah Landing, May 2, Heg wrote of the crowds of 
people waiting to cross the Missouri. His company of 
four now had four yoke of oxen and one horse; their load 
weighed three thousand pounds. They went on to Fort 
Laramie, and thence to Green River, a distance of four 
hundred miles, in the course of which no grass for the oxen 
was found. South Pass was reached on July 4 and Salt 
Lake City on July 16. Mormons whom they met on the 
way told them that earnings of the gold miners in California 
averaged from four hundred to a thousand dollars a week. 
As Heg and his comrades proceeded westward, they were 
in good spirits despite the difficulties encountered.^^ At 
length, after a journey of many adventures and much 
suffering, they reached California. Here Heg remained 
two years, experiencing the usual hardships and vicissitudes 
of fortune of the gold miners. In one of his letters of this 
period, written at Weaversville, California, he wrote, "We 
have been very actively engaged during the whole winter in 
digging gold. But it is becoming scarce, and little is found. 
Last fall, when we arrived, we built a log house, ten feet 

square in size, equipping it with a good fireplace, etc 

I and Hanson have worked together since we came here in 
September, and we have saved one thousand dollars, besides 

Nordlyset, March 29, 1849, p. 2. 
" Nordlyset, May 17, 1849. 
1^ Ihid. 

" Nordlyset, June 7, 1849. 
Nordlyset, Oct. 11, 1849. 


Theodore C. Blegen 

our expenses, which have amounted to about three hundred 
dollars .... In my opinion the best part of the gold crop 
has now been harvested, and those who come out next year 
will find themselves much disappointed."2o After two years 
in the West, and just at a time when he was beginning to 
have real success in his mining ventures, Heg received news 
from home that his father had died on August 17, 1850.^^ 
His mother had died in 1842, and it was clearly Hans Heg's 
duty to assume charge of the farm and the care of his young- 
er brothers and sister. Accordingly, in 1851 he returned 
to Muskego.22 

Upon his return he took over the three hundred and 
twenty acre farm which had belonged to his father, and 
undertook the duties of a farmer. In 1851, shortly after 
his return, he married Gunhild Einong, a daughter of a 
Norwegian immigrant of 1843.^^ Heg was now twenty -two 
years of age and had already won the respect and confidence 
not only of the Norwegian settlers of the community, but of 
many of the native Americans of the vicinity as well. 
Politics attracted him, and he was soon looked upon as a 
rising young politician. An ardent Free-soiler, he was 
soon to affiliate with the new Republican party. Slavery 
was abhorrent to him, and the sincerity of his views was 
later to be proved by the supreme sacrifice. A writer who 
knew Heg personally stresses the free and unhindered 
development of his principles in that American atmosphere, 
"so pregnant with freedom, equality, and the spirit of brother- 
hood,"^^ in which he lived. These things were indeed the 
very life of the simple pioneer society of Muskego; and in 

Quoted by Langeland, in Johnson, Det Skandinaviske Regiments Historic, 104. 

21 Democraten, (Racine, Wis.), Aug. 31, 1850. 

22 Sketch in Emigranten (Madison, Wis.), Sept. 12, 1859, p. 2. 

23 ]y[j.g jj Q jjgg jg g^iij living. A venerable lady of eighty-five years, she resides 
in Elizabeth, New Jersey, with her daughter Mrs. Fowler. Some months ago the writer 
addressed a letter to Mrs. Heg inquiring whether the letters and papers of Colonel Heg 
had been preserved. Mrs. Heg replied that she had carefully kept her husband's CivU 
War letters and some other papers, but that coincident with a recent thorough cleaning of 
the attic, they had all disappeared. They were doubtless burned. 

2* Langeland, in Johnson, Det Skandinaviske Regiments Historie, 104. 

Colonel Hans Christian Heg 


Heg there is evident a deep faith in American ideals, in 
democracy, equaHty, and human freedom. A champion 
of such principles, Heg was put forward in 1852 as a Free- 
soil candidate for the state legislature. The antislavery 
Whigs also had a candidate in the field. The Democratic 
candidate, Thomas West, was elected, having a small 
majority over Heg.^^ 

Heg entered actively into political and civic work in his 
locality. In 1852 he became a supervisor in the Town of 
Norway, Racine County, and also a justice of the peace. 
In 1854 he was chosen chairman of the board of supervisors. 
He was re-elected in 1855. As chairman of the town board 
he was a member of the county board; in 1855 he was 
chosen as one of three commissioners to superintend the 
Racine County Poor Farm, in the western district. In 1857 
he was again selected as a Poorhouse commissioner, but 
was too busy to retain the town office, to which his brother 
was elected. The duties of these local offices he appears 
to have discharged faithfully; with their successful execu- 
tion he gained the confidence of an increasing number of 
citizens. 26 In the fall of 1857 he was a delegate from 
Racine County to the Republican state convention at 
Madison. A group of Norwegians met in Madison and 
proposed the nomination of Heg for some state office as a 
recognition of the Norwegian element in Wisconsin. Con- 
gressman Potter spoke in the convention for Heg and the 
Norwegians, but only twenty-three votes for Heg were 
forthcoming, and he received no nomination." In 1859 
Heg determined to give up farming and removed to Water- 
ford, where in company with two Americans he operated a 
mill and a general merchandise store.^^ 

His stay at Waterford was of short duration, however. 
Political recognition of a substantial character came to him 

^ Ibid. Cf. Emigranten, Sept. 12, 1859, p. 2. 

summary of Heg's career in local politics is presented in Kmigranien, Sept. 
12, 1859, p. 2. Cf . History of Racine and Kenosha Counties (Chicago. 1 879) . 3 1 5, 829. 
" Emigranten, Sept. 12, 1859, p. 2. 
Langeland, in Johnson, op. cit, 105. 

148 Theodore C. Blegen 

in his nomination by the Repubhcan state convention of 
1859 as a candidate for the office of State Prison Com- 
missioner of Wisconsin. Accepting the nomination, Heg 
traveled about the state, making poHtical addresses in 
Norwegian in the Norse settlements and in English else- 
where.29 Many Germans and Scandinavians at this time 
believed that the Republican party was tainted with Know 
Nothingism, and Heg's place on the Republican ticket in 
Wisconsin was undoubtedly a Republican bid for the 
Scandinavian vote.^° Heg himself regarded the nomination 
as a compliment to the Norwegians and effectively main- 
tained that the Republicans were not nativistic.^^ Some 
of the newspaper comments on Heg are of interest.^^ The 
Milwaukee Free Democrat said, "Mr. Heg is completely 
Americanized, speaks English as clearly and fluently as a 
native citizen. "^^ In some quarters it was even charged 
that Heg was so completely Americanized that he was 
indifferent to the Norwegians.^^ In his addresses, however, 
Heg spoke with pride of his Norwegian blood and of the 
Norwegian element in Wisconsin. At the subsequent 

2^ In one of his speeches, at Madison, Heg said, "I was aboard the Anti-Slavery ship 
when it had to make voyages up Salt River. I am still on the same ship. But the crew 
is numerous and confident. The outcome is no longer uncertain. The victory will be 
ours." Quoted in ibid., 105. Cf . Emigranten, Oct. 2, 1859, p. 2, with extracts from Wiscon- 
sin State Journal. On Heg's nomination see Emigranten, Sept. 5, 1859, p. 2. 

In 1856 a Norwegian newspaper published at Madison maintained that the Know 
Nothing element in the Republican party was so strong that it was able effectively to 
control the state convention in that year. It called attention to many evidences of 
Know Nothing influences within the ranks of the Republicans, and called upon the Scan- 
dinavians to have nothing to do with that party. Den Nor she Amerikaner, April 19, May 
3, May 10, and May 31, 1856. Emigranten, more influential than Den Norske Amerikaner, 
gradually took sides with the Republicans and defended the party from attacks both by 
Den Norske Amerikaner and its successor, Nordstjernen. See, for example, Nordstjernen, 
July 22, 1857. Both the Republican and Democratic parties in Wisconsin in 1857 adopted 
strong planks against nativism, but charges persisted, especially from the Germans. 
Considerable light on this subject may be found in Bruncken, "The Political Activity of 
Wisconsin Germans 1854-60," Wis. Hist. Soc. Proceedings for 1901, especially 197 ff. 

21 Emigranten, Oct. 10, 1859, p. 2, quoting from the Wisconsin State Journal. 

22 Emigranten, Oct. 3, 1859, with extracts from the Waupun Times of Sept. 21, the 
Watertown Volkszeitung of Sept. 24, and the Milwaukee Free Democrat of Sept. 19. 

22 Milwaukee Free Democrat, Sept. 14, 1859, quoted in Emigranten, Sept. 26, 1859* 

p. 2. 

24 Emigranten, Oct. 31, 1859, p. 2. 

26 Emigranten, Oct. 24, 1859, p. 2. with a report of Heg's speech at Monroe, Wisconsin 

Colonel Hans Christian Heg 


election he received a majority of 2,673.36 Not only was 
he elected, but he had become well known in the state, a 
fact of considerable importance to him later. 

At Waupun Heg made a creditable record and displayed 
good administrative ability. Improvements were made 
under his direction in regard to machinery and plans for 
work by prisoners. After a visit to the Illinois prison at > 
Joliet, Heg opened a cooper shop and a broom shop at 
Waupun." He was opposed to the practice of electing 
prison commissioners every two years and favored appoint- 
ment with permanent tenure. After careful study he 
advocated the principle of the indeterminate sentence, now 
so generally adopted. His reports contain some state- 
ments worthy of quotation. '*The penalty of the law," he 
said, "is justly due to its transgressor, but in the midst of 
deserved wrath, it is God-like to be merciful. "^^ Again, 
"Experience has confirmed my conviction that a mild and 
merciful application of the rules of discipline is sufficient 
in all cases to reduce the most hardened offenders to obe- 
dience. "^^ He believed that prisons were established not 
simply for the punishment of offenders, but also "to reclaim 
the wandering and save the lost."^^ He wrote, "Nothing 
will arouse the virtuous aspirations of a fallen man so power- 
fully as the conviction that it still lies in his power to regain 
the rights he has forfeited, and that he yet can be respected 
by society as a fellow-man. "^^ Rated highly in respect 
alike to honesty, efficiency, and economy, his administration 
of the prison assured him of renomination in 1861/^ 

3^ Emigranien, Nov. 21 and 28, 1859. Heg appears to have been the first Norwegian 
elected to a state office in the United States. 

Annual Report of the State Prison Commissioner, for the Year ending Oct. 1, 1S60, 7. 

Annual Report of the State Prison Commissioner, for the Year ending Sept. SO, 1861, 2. 
89 Ibid. 
« Ibid. 
« Ibid., 1. 
*2 Ibid., 1-2. 

Considerable information about Heg's administration, with anecdotes and stories 
illustrating his methods, is in "En Tur til Wisconsins Statsfacngsol," Kmigranicn, Aug. 
3 and 19, 1861. See also Langeland, "Oberst II. C. Hog." in Johnson, Dei Skandinovistke 
Regiments Uistorie, 105-106. 


Theodore C, Blegen 

The year 1861 marks the conclusion of Heg's services as 
commissioner, however. The crisis had been reached in 
the relations of North and South. President Lincoln had 
called for volunteers for the great task of preserving the 
Union. The Civil War had begun. The testing time had 
come for Americans of whatever ancestry. Not more than 
seventy-five thousand Scandinavians were in the United 
States in 1861. The great immigration from Norway, 
Sweden, and Denmark was barely past its beginning stages. 
"Yet the one dramatic and heroic chapter in the whole 
story of the progress of the Scandinavians in America," 
wrote Dr. Babcock in 1914, ''is that dealing with their part 
in that great struggle, in which many hundreds of them gave 
their strength and their lives for the unity and safety of their 
adopted country no less bravely and no less cheerfully than 
did the native-born American .... Everywhere the story 
of their services in the army is creditable, and it is not 
strange that the survivors are proud of their war records 
as the badge of loyal Americanism. They did not go into the 
war for the mere love of adventure, nor for love of fighting, 
for men in large numbers do not leave their families and 
their half -developed farms for flimsy and temporary reasons. 
They loved the new country they had made their own, with 
a love that was measurable in the high terms of sacrifice, 
even to the shedding of blood and to death."^^ It must 
not be forgotten, however, that Germans, Irish, and other 
nationalities rallied to the cause in the same spirit. The 
Scandinavians were not exceptional. 

Men of Scandinavian blood joined the colors with 
enthusiasm in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and 
other states in which they had but recently settled. Scan- 
dinavian names are to be found in the membership of very 
many of the northwestern regiments. In Wisconsin, the 
stronghold of the Scandinavian element, a movement was 

Kendric C. Babcock, The Scandinavian Element in the United States (University of 
Illinois, Studies in the Social Sciences, III, no. 3, Urbana, 1914), 75, 78. 

Colonel Hans Christian Heg 


started in the first months of the war to raise a Norwegian 
regiment. The energies of Hans C. Heg were early enhsted 
in the cause. His name, for example, heads generously a list 
of Waupun subscribers for the benefit of families of volun- 
teers as early as April 26, 1861.^6 On May 7 he offered the 
convict labor at Waupun to be utilized in the making of 
uniforms. "We are ready to take hold at any time," he 
wrote. 4^ On August 20 a call to Wisconsin came from 
Secretary Cameron for five additional regiments. Governor 
Randall of Wisconsin ofiicially asked that one of these 
regiments be composed of Germans. Probably influenced 
by this idea, J. A. Johnson of Madison opened a roll on 
August 31 for the recruiting of a Scandinavian company, 
calling for at least eighty-three men.^^ On September 14 
the Norwegian newspaper Emigranten announced that 
Johnson's call had met with a good response. K. K. 
Jones of Illinois suggested both to Johnson and to Heg that 
a Scandinavian regiment might be organized. Somewhat 
before this Heg had informed Johnson of his intention to go 
to war, and it is possible that he had already conceived the 
idea of a Scandinavian regiment. His resignation as 
Prison Commissioner had been sent to the Governor, who 
refused to accept it. When plans for the proposed regiment 
were somewhat more definitely formed, it was decided to 
have Heg's name presented for renomination in the state 
Republican convention in the belief that such action would 
add to his prestige and stimulate recruiting." On Septem- 
ber 25, 1861 a meeting of leading Scandinavians was held 
at the state capitol, Madison. At this gathering it was 

William DeLoss Love, Wisconsin in the War of the Rebellion (Chicago, 1866), 131, 
with reference to Waupun Times, April 26, 1861. 

H. C. Heg to W. H. Watson, May 7, 1861. Ms. in collection of Civil War papers 
from Governor's office in Wisconsin Historical Library. 

Emigranten, Aug. 24, 1861. 
49 Emiflrmnten, Sept. 2, 1861. 

^"The same issue contained an interesting advertisement calling attention to the 
organization of one or possibly two companies in Goodhue County, Minnesota, for the 
Third Minnesota Regiment. Emigranten, Sept. 14, 1861. 

" Johnson, Dei SIcandinaviske Regiments Historic, 15-16 and fT. 


Theodore C. Blegen 

formally decided to raise the regiment; a letter was sent 
to Governor Randall informing him of this decision and 
petitioning for the appointment of Hans C. Heg as colonel.^^ 
The Governor was found to be in full sympathy with the 
project, and on October 1, 1861 a commission as Colonel 
was issued to Heg.^^ jjeg was renominated for the office of 
Prison Commissioner with great acclaim. In declining 
the honor he called for the selection of a "courageous, liberal, 
and humane man" in his place. He then devoted himself 
vigorously to the effort to secure a hearty response to the 
call for volunteers. The selection of Heg as colonel was 
hailed with enthusiasm both in the English and in the 
Norwegian newspapers in Wisconsin. A typical editorial, 
taken from Emigranten, reads: "Young, powerful, and 
attractive, honorable, unimpeachably honest, to a high 
degree considerate of the welfare of his subordinates, with 
a splendid fund of practical, sound sense, and with the 
increased knowledge of men and things which his work as a 
state official has given him, he is the best man of all the 
Norwegians in America whom we know to lead such an 
undertaking. Our countrymen can gather about him as 
their chief with unqualified trust. "^^ 

52 This letter, dated Madison Sept. 25, 1861, is in Civil War Ms. from Governor's 
office, Wisconsin Historical Library. It reads : 


The undersigned, as a Committee, appointed by a meeting of Scandinavians from 
different parts of the State, assembled here at Madison today — have been assigned 
the duty of informing Your Excellency that said meeting has passed a resolution 
to raise a Scandinavian Brigade for the war now pending in this our adopted Country; 
And that we recommend the following Gentlemen to be appointed as follows: 

Hon. Hans C. Heg as Colonel 

K. K. Jones as Lieut. Col. 

Believing that a movement like this for the defence of our Country and our Flag 
will meet the approbation and support of the Government, we respectfully remain 

Your obedient Servants : 
J. A. Johnson C. F. Solberg 

S. Samuelson K. J. Fleischer 
B. W. Suckow Chr. Winge 

53 Emigranten, Oct. 5, 1861. 

^ The Madison Wisconsin State Journal, Janesville Daily Gazette, Milwaukee Free 
Democrat, and other newspapers are quoted on Heg and his renomination, in Emigranten, 
Oct. 5, 1861. 

55 Emigranten, Oct. 12, 1861. 

56 Emigranten, Oct. 5, 1861. 

Colonel Hans Christian Heg 


Recruiting officers were chosen and began their work in 
the Norwegian settlements. In the Norwegian as well as 
in the English newspapers effective aid was given to the 
campaign. Emigranten, of Madison, deserves special men- 
tion for its co-operation in this connection. In placing the 
American flag at the head of its editorial column after the 
war began, it was typical of the Norwegian press in general, 
and it devoted much space to the plan for a Norwegian 
regiment. On September 28 Emigranten published an 
appeal signed by ten leading Scandinavians calling upon the 
people of their blood in the United States to help make the 
organization of the regiment a success. Southern victories 
showed plainly that only by a united and powerful effort 
could the Union be saved ; the proposed regiment gave to the 
Scandinavians of the West a unique opportunity to enter the 
service; and finally, it was pointed out, other racial elements 
in the population were taking similar steps and the Scan- 
dinavians could not permit themselves to be outmatched 
by the Germans and the Irish. In supporting this appeal 
editorially, Emigranten called in the same issue for the 
organization of "at least one regiment." Throughout the 
autumn of 1861 several stirring calls were written by Colonel 
Heg and spread broadcast. ''The government of our adopted 
country is in danger," he wrote on October 5. ''That which 
we learned to love as freemen in our old Fatherland — our 
freedom — our government — our independence — is threat- 
ened with destruction. Is it not our duty as brave and 
intelligent citizens to extend our hands in defense of the 
cause of our country and of our own homes P"*^^ On No- 
vember 16 he wrote, "Come then, young Norsemen, and 

The call was addressed to all able-bodied Scandinavians in the United States. It 
was signed by H. C. Heg, Adolph Sorenson, Knud Langeland, J. A. Johnson, K. J. Fleis- 
cher, Chr. Winge, S. Samuelson, Ole Torgersen, C. Fr. Solberg, and Chr. Colding. Emi- 
granten, Sept. 28, 18G1. 

Emigranten, Oct. 5, 1861. In this call Heg asked for a thousand men— Norwegians, 
Swedes, and Danes. He said: "The officers of the regiment will be men who speak the 
Scandinavian languages. Thus an opportunity to enter the service is afforded those 
Scandinavians who do not yet speak English." 


Theodore C, Blegen 

take part in defending our country's cause, and thus fulfill 
a pressing duty which everyone who can do it owes to the 
land in which he lives. Let us band together and deliver 
untarnished to posterity the old honorable name of Norse- 

The recruiting and the organization of the regiment — the 
Fifteenth Wisconsin — were carried forward rapidly under 
the supervision of Colonel Heg. The regiment was as- 
sembled at Camp Randall, Madison, in December, 1861;^° 
by the following February its number had reached the 
required minimum. The prospective soldiers had their 
first real taste of military life at Camp Randall, their 
experiences here being typical of those of all the thousands 
of Wisconsin soldiers who were here prepared for the 
arduous duties awaiting them in the South. In February, 
1862 there were about three thousand men at the camp, two 
other regiments being also in process of organization. Much 
time — in both mornings and afternoons — was devoted to 
drill, in the elements of which the men of the Fifteenth were 
well grounded before their departure from Madison.®^ 
Gradually the regiment was recruited to a strength of about 
nine hundred, and it eagerly awaited orders to move. The 
great majority were of Norwegian blood, though there 
were some Swedes and Danes, and a handful of Americans i 
and Germans. Not a few of the soldiers of the Fifteenth j 
were immigrants of but a few weeks' standing. Bersven ^ 
Nelson, for example, reached La Crosse from Norway on 
July 16 and was in the service less than four months later. 

5^ Emigranten, Nov. 16, 1861. Nine hundred men were needed, of whom six hmidred } 
had come in at the time this call was written. It should be mentioned that Emigranten i 
made up a special number composed of articles from its issues of Oct. 5 and 12, dealing j 
with the regiment and the war in general, which was widely circulated as an aid to recruit- I 

®° Bersven Nelson, "Optegnelser fra Borgerkrigen " in Waldemar Ager, Oberst Heg og 
hans Gutter (Eau Claire, Wis., 1916), 16-17. This diary (pages 15-61) covers the whole 
period of the service of the Fifteenth Wisconsin and is a valuable source of information. 
An interesting article on the regiment at Camp Randall is in Emigranten, Dec. 21, 1861. I 
See also Emigranten, Jan. 20, Feb. 3, and Feb. 10, 1862. 

" Emigranten, Feb. 17 and 24, 1862, Nelson, "Optegnelser fra Borgerkrigen," in j 
Ager, Oberst Heg og hans Gutter, 16. 

62 Ibid., 15-16. ; 

Colonel Hans Christian Heg 


Most of the recruits, however, came from the older settle- 
ments. A supposedly authentic list of the members of the 
Fifteenth Wisconsin, recently published, contains 890 
names. Practically all of these joined before the regiment 
went south, though some entered later. Iowa, Minnesota, 
and Illinois, in addition to Wisconsin, were well represented 
in the regiment. Heg himself visited certain Norwegian 
settlements in all of these states during the recruiting 
campaign.^^ Typical of the names of Heg's warriors were 
Olsen, Hanson, Peterson, Johnson, Thompson, and Erick- 
son. There were four Ole Olsons in Company F; Company 
E boasted three Ole Ericksons; and Company B matched 
this with three Ole Andersons. In the regiment as a whole 
there were no less than one hundred fifteen men whose first 
name was Ole.^^ The names chosen for the regimental 
companies were unique and interesting. Among them were 
the St. Olaf Rifles, the Wergeland Guards, Odin's Rifles, 
Norway Bear Hunters, Scandinavian Mountaineers, Heg's 
Rifles, Rock River Rangers, and Clausen's Guards. 

When the regiment left for St. Louis on March 2, 1862, 
the Madison station was thronged with hundreds of friends 
and relatives assembled to bid goodbye to the soldiers and 
cheer them.^^ Upon its arrival at Chicago, the soldiers were 
met by "Nora Lodge," a Scandinavian society, which enter- 
tained them and presented them with a flag, "having, on 
the one side the American colors, and, on the reverse the 

^3 A. L. Lien, "Liste over nordmaend blandt Wisconsin tropper i borgerkrigen : I V, 15 
Regiment Wis. Vol. Inf.," in Samband, April, 1914, 339-58. Cf. Roster of Wisconsin 
Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-65 (Madison, 1886), I, 804-829. 

Heg was at Waupun, Oct. 3, 1861, Chicago, Oct. 12, Cambridge, Oct. 18, Pleasant 
Springs, Oct. 19, and in the latter part of the month at Decorah, Iowa, and in Fillmore and 
Houston counties, Minnesota. Emigranten, Oct. 12 and 19, 1861. Captain Grinager 
of Company K was from Freeborn County, Minnesota, and the majority in his company 
were from Minnesota and Iowa. In Company A there were many from Chicago and 
other parts of Illinois. 

«6 Samband, April, 1914, 339-58. 

Clausen was a prominent pioneer Norwegian Lutheran minister who served as the 
first chaplain of the regiment. See Svein Strand, "Pastor C. L. Clausen," Symra, IX, 

A long account of the departure of the regiment for the South, by C. F. Solberg, is 

in Emigranten, March 17, 1862, 2-3. 

156 Theodore C, Blegen 

American and Norwegian arms united, the Norwegian 
being the picture of a lion with an axe, on a red field."^^ 

During the next three years the Fifteenth Wisconsin 
played a valorous part in the operations of the Union forces 
in Kentucky, Tennessee, and northern Georgia.^^ When 
mustered out of service near the end of the war, its surviving 
members were veterans of more than a score of severe engage- 
ments. Among the more important of these were Island 
No. 10, Perry ville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Chat- 
tanooga (Missionary Ridge), Resaca, New Hope Church, 
and Kenesaw Mountain. Almost one-third of the entire 
regiment died during the war as a result of wounds or 
disease. In respect of mortality the percentage of its losses 
places the Fifteenth Wisconsin high in the list of all the 
gallant Wisconsin regiments of the Civil War.^^ 

The history of the Fifteenth Wisconsin and the biog- 
raphy of Colonel Heg are practically identical from the 
autumn of 1861, at Madison, to September 20, 1863, at 
Chickamauga. With the exception of a few brief leaves of 

p. G. Dietrichson, "The Fifteenth Wisconsin, or Scandinavian Regiment," in 
O. N. Nelson (ed.). History of the Scandinavians in the United States (2d ed., Minneapolis, 
1904), part 1, 155. This article was originally published in Scandinavia, I, 297-300. Gf . 
Emigranten, March 17, 1862, 2-3. 

Much has been written in the Norwegian language about the Fifteenth Wisconsin. 
The first history was J. A. Johnson, Det SkandinavisJce Regiments Historic (1869). See 
above, note 12. O. A. Buslett, Det Femtende Regiment Wisconsin Frivillige (Decorah, 
Iowa, 1895) is an entertaining and unreliable book of 696 pages. P. G. Dietrichson, En 
Kortfattet Skildring af det femtende Wisconsins Regiments Historic og Virksomhcd under 
Borgerkrigen (Chicago, 1884) is a brief sketch of 32 pages. It is also published in an 
English version. See above, note 68. Waldemar Ager, Oberst Heg og hans Gutter, is 
valuable chiefly for the diary of Bersven Nelson (15-61), the diary of Morten J. Nordre 
(154-59), and approximately one hundred Civil War letters written by soldiers of the Fif- 
teenth (74-165, 235 ff.). There are chapters by Mr. Ager on some of the battles in which 
the regiment participated, and other phases of its history. Mr. Ager has published many 
articles on the Fifteenth, among which may be noted: "Det norske regiment i Slaget ved 
Chicamauga," Nordmands-Forhundet, VI, no. 3 (Sept., 1913), 492-501; "Tapene i det nor- 
ske regiment under borgerkrigen," ihid., IX, no. 3 (March, 1916), 162-69; "The Fifteenth 
Wisconsin," American Scandinavian Review, III, 325-33. Selections from letters written 
by the surgeon of the Fifteenth are in Luther M. Kuhns, "An Army Surgeon's Letters to 
his Wife," Proceedings of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association for the Year 
1913-1914, 306-320. No satisfactory regimental history of the Fifteenth Wisconsin has 
appeared in English. Some information is in Charles E. Estabrook, Records and Sketches 
of Wisconsin Organizations. . . (Madison, 1914), 136-37. 

^° Ager, "Tapene i det norske regiment under borgerkrigen," Nordmands-Forhundet, 
IX, 162-69. The percentage of losses sustained by the Fifteenth Wisconsin, according 
to Mr. Ager, was 33.04. Cf. Charles E. Estabrook (ed.), Wisconsin Losses in the Civil War 
(Madison, 1915), 74-79. 

Colonel Hans Christian Heg 


absence and one period of illness Heg was constantly with 
his regiment and brigade during these two years. In camp, 
on the march, and in battle, he shared their hardships, led 
them, and won their love and devotion. 

The pictures of Colonel Heg reveal a tall, straight, 
military figure. His facial appearance was somewhat 
similar to that of StonewallJackson. Of commanding pres- 
ence. Colonel Heg appeared to be considerably older than 
he was. His age, in fact, was less than thirty -four when 
he met his death at Chickamauga. A careful and critical 
observer, Colonel Heg was at the same time quiet in de- 
meanor and somewhat taciturn. He fraternized rarely 
with his soldiers and has been described as an ofiicer who did 
little consciously to win the hearts of his men. For himself 
he loved and trusted his soldiers and was ready at all times 
to risk his life for them. A student of the Fifteenth Wiscon- 
sin and its history asserts that Heg was not the type of 
leader for whom soldiers are eager to die, but rather the 
type who faced death for his soldiers — an assertion that 
seems to be substantiated by the history of the regiment. 
An effective disciplinarian in the army, Heg could prove a 
jovial companion outside the service. As an officer he was 
spirited and intelligent, uniting the spirit of caution with 
seeming recklessness. Veterans of his regiment delight to 
recall his ability to dissipate discouragement and to inspire 
cheer and confidence. Something of this is evident in a 
letter from Colonel Heg, dated February 15, 1863, near 
Murfreesboro.^2 The letter was an acknowledgment of the 
receipt of gifts for sick and wounded soldiers from a soldiers' 
aid society in Wisconsin. His men, he says, have risked 
their health and lives for a cause vital to all. Appreciation 
at home is both an encouragement and an incentive to the 
soldiers. "Our army must and will crush this terrible 

" Ager, Oberst Heg og hans Gutter, 249. 

" The letter is in ibid., 1C3-C4. It is translated in part in T. C. Blegen, "Colonel 
Hans Christian Heg: American," The North Star, I, 93-94. 


Theodore C, Blegen 

rebellion if our people in the North will make common cause 
with the army and do all in their power to encourage the 
soldiers .... No encouragement is more effective than 
that which comes from home ... If a mother has a son, or 
a wife a husband, in the army, her letters encouraging him 
to do his duty will be worth more than anything else. 
Persistent complaints, lamentations, and prayers for his 
return home, do more to spread despondency and finally 
sickness than the physical dangers through which soldiers 
must pass .... There is no alternative but this: death 
and destruction for us and our Government, or the crushing 
of the rebellion. The latter must be accomplished, no 
matter what sacrifices be demanded — even though it entails 
loss of life, property, and everything else." 

Like all the other regiments, the Fifteenth Wisconsin 
had to meet tests of endurance in long and rapid marches 
over unfamiliar ground and in skirmishes too numerous to 
mention. Throughout these and other hardships Colonel 
Heg was with his men, cheerfully accepting every situation, 
and encouraging those under him. While his military career 
in general is the story of his regiment, a number of his acts 
merit special mention and may illustrate some of the obser- 
vations made concerning his character. 

The regiment took part in the battle of Perryville on 
October 8, 1862, and at one stage in this fight made an 
effective charge. Not a single soldier of the Fifteenth was 
killed in this battle, however. At Stone's River, between 
December 30 and January 3, 1862-63, the regiment was not 
so fortunate and suffered heavy losses, including its lieuten- 
ant colonel and other oflScers. Colonel Heg realized that 
the mettle of his men was to be severely tested in this 
battle and near its beginning he encouraged his soldiers by 
riding along the firing line in front of the troops. Lieutenant 
Colonel McKee urged him not to expose himself but Colonel 

Ager,^"Slaget ved Perryville," Oberst Heg og hans Gutter, 181-84. 

Colonel Hans Christian Heg 


Heg affected not to hear him. Suddenly his horse was 
struck by a shot, and both horse and rider rolled to the 
ground. By good fortune Heg was unhurt, however, and 
his gallantry appreciably strengthened the morale of his 
waiting soldiers. 

During the same battle Colonel Heg displayed bravery 
in the storming of Knob Gap, a gorge fortified by eight pieces 
of artillery and a force of dismounted cavalry. A brigade 
line of skirmishers was led by Lieutenant Colonel McKee; 
after them came the main body of the brigade headed by 
Colonel Heg. The position was taken, and a cannon cap- 
tured. It is said that the regiment loved its colonel after 
Stone's River more than ever before, for it was clear to them 
that he did not expect his soldiers to go where he himself 
would not go. Eighty -five members of the Fifteenth 
Wisconsin were killed or wounded, with thirty -four missing, 
as a result of this battle. 

In February, 1863 Colonel Heg commanded temporarily 
the second brigade, and on May 1 he was placed in perma- 
nent command of the third brigade of the first division, 
twentieth army corps — his own regiment, the Fifteenth, 
being at the same time transferred to this brigade. "^^ While 
in temporary command of the second brigade, he partici- 
pated in an exploit that won him a considerable reputation 
for daring. The brigade was engaged on March 4, 18(53 in 
an expedition from the vicinity of Murfreesboro to Shelby- 
ville. At one point Colonel Heg halted the brigade and 
selecting a few companions started upon a circuitous way 
through the woods in order to surprise the rebel pickets 

''^ Ager, "Slaget ved Murfreesboro eller Stone's River," op. ext., 18.5-09. Mr. Ager 
prints a letter written Jan. 11, 1863, by Lieutenant Chantland, a participant. 

Dietrichson, "The Fifteenth Wisconsin, or Scandinavian Regiment." in Nelson, 
History of the Scandinavians in the United States, part 1 , 158-.59. Langcland, "Ohorst H . C 
Heg," in Johnson, Det Skandinaviske Regiments IJistorir, 107. In his report of the hnttU\ 
the brigade commander wrote, "While every field officer under my command did his duty 
faithfully. Colonels Alexander and Heg, in my opinion, proved tlieniselves the bravest of 
the brave." War of the Rebellion: Oficial Records of the Union and Confcdcraie Armicf, 
series 1, vol. XX, part 1, p. 282. 

Buslett, Det Femtende Wisconsin Frivilligc, 29.5. 


Theodore C. Blegen 

stationed on the main turnpike. With two officers Heg 
rode ahead of the rest of the scouting body when he sud- 
denly came upon the enemy pickets. Heg was armed only 
with a sword; his two companions were unarmed. They 
immediately dashed forward, however, and succeeded in 
taking the pickets prisoners. The Colonel waited until his 
followers came up and then sent a detachment forward to 
find out the position of the rebel reserves. 

In the opening phase of the Chickamauga campaign 
Colonel Heg's brigade had the distinction of being the first 
to cross the Tennessee River, a feat accomplished at day- 
break on August 29, 1863. Pontoon boats were put in 
place at Caperton's Ferry; the brigade crossed them, drove 
away the cavalry of the enemy, and occupied the southern 
bank of the river. A twelve-hundred-foot pontoon bridge 
was then completed, and the whole division under General 
Davis, to which Heg's brigade was attached, then crossed. 
The regiment and brigade, as well as Colonel Heg himself, 
distinguished themselves in this movement. 

The Fifteenth Wisconsin was one of five infantry regi- 
ments from the Badger State that took part in the bloody 
battle of Chickamauga. The record of these regiments, as 
told in Fitch's The Chattanooga Campaign, is one of gallant 
fighting against great odds, and of tremendous losses. The 
Fifteenth came out of the battle with only a small band of 
survivors ; it would probably have gone out of existence but 
for the arrival of two companies which had been left in 
garrison at Island No. 10. On September 19, 1863, the 
first day of the battle, the regiment lost seven officers and 
fifty-nine enlisted men; and the losses of the second day 
brought the total to one hundred eleven. The regiment 

Johnson, Det Skandinaviske Regiments Historie, 45. War of the Rebellion: Official 
Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, series 1, vol. XXIII, part 1, 138-39, for Heg's 
own report. 

Michael H. Fitch, The Chattanooga Campaign (Wisconsin History Commission, 
Original Papers, No. 4), 59. War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Con- 
federate Armies, series 1, vol. XXX, part 1, 485, 496-97. 
" Fitch, The Chattanooga Campaign, 130-31. 

Colonel Hans Christian Heg 


served in Heg's brigade, Davis' division of the twentieth 
corps. The story of this sanguinary battle is one of fight- 
ing at close quarters, of soldiers on both sides fully exposed 
to enemy fire, of advance and withdrawal through under- 
brush and in the open, of repeated attacks and counter- 
attacks. The Fifteenth Wisconsin had been sent forward 
on the first day with the Eighth Kansas at its left, both 
being supported by a second line including the rest of Heg's 
brigade. During the severe fighting that ensued the Kansas 
regiment withdrew, leaving the Fifteenth unsupported on 
the left and compelling it to fall back. An Illinois regiment 
was brought up; the lines were reformed; and a spirited 
charge was made against the enemy, driving them back 
two hundred yards. The enemy countered, forcing the 
Illinois troops back, and the Fifteenth suddenly found 
itself between the fire of Confederates and Federals. It 
was obliged to retire as best it could. During the day's 
fighting Colonel Heg was in the midst of his regiments, 
cheering them and encouraging them both by his words 
and by his personal bravery. With his brigade outnum- 
bered and being forced back, he was constantly heartening 
his men and attempting to stop the forward movement of 
the enemy. When the Twenty-first Illinois arrived the 
lines were broken and were being driven back. Colonel 
Heg rode forward, waved his hat to the soldiers, and ordered 
them to follow him. They stormed forward with a cheer 
and were successful in hurling the enemy back a consider- 
able distance. An interesting description of this fighting 
was written by a correspondent of the Cincinnati Covimer- 
cial and reprinted in the State Journal of Madison, Wiscon- 
sin: ^2 

*° Dietrichson, in Nelson, History of the Scatidinavians in United States, part 1, 160. 
War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederal Armies, series 1, vol. 
XXX, part 1, 498-99. 

Johnson, Det Skandinaviske Regiments Ilistorie, 108. 

Issue of Oct. 30, 1863. This account is similar in all essenlinl matters to that con- 
tained in an official report by Colonel John A. Martin, Heg's successor as ix^mmamlcr of the 
brigade, dated Sept. 28, 1863. War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and 


Theodore C, Blegen 

The Third Brigade, Colonel Heg commanding, had hardly ad- 
vanced fifty yards when the enemy suddenly opened on it a destructive 
fire. The Second Brigade had not yet formed into line, but was rapidly 
doing so, three regiments to the right and one on the left of the Third 
Brigade; all some thirty yards to the rear. The troops of the Third 
Brigade pressed vigorously forward, firing promptly and with coolness, 
as they advanced. Its flank, however, was exposed; a wide gap being 
between it and the troops on the left; its right was the extreme right of 
the troops in this vicinity. The firing at this time was terrible, and the 
stream of wounded to the rear was unprecedently large. Bullets tore 
through the ranks; grape and cannister flew whistling among the brave 
men, but they stood their ground, not yielding an inch. 

In vain the rebel hosts pushed forward; in vain they brought fresh 
troops — the desperate valor of the men resisted every effort to drive 
them back. For three quarters of an hour this small brigade held them 
at bay. But its flanks, those weakest points of an army, were exposed, 
and the enemy struck at these, and pouring through its gap on the left 
and right, subjected it to a terrible enfilading fire. Colonel Heg, the 
brave brigade commander, reluctantly gave the order to fall back, and 
the men slowly retreated, until they reached Carlin's Brigade, loading 
and firing as they went. Here the Third Brigade again reformed and the 
division again united, charging the enemy, driving them until it had 
reached the ground occupied by the Third Brigade before it fell back. 
For a quarter of an hour they held this position, the rebels massing 
column after column and hurling them with desperate valor against 
their thrice decimated ranks. 

Captain Albert Skofstad, of Company D, Fifteenth 
Wisconsin, writing to the Milwaukee Sentinel on October 
20, 1863, thus describes the final act in the military career 
of Colonel Heg:^^ ''Throughout all those hours of severe 
danger and exposure, Colonel Heg was ever prompt at his 
post, always courageous and self-possessed. Not once did 
he falter or swerve from his duty .... His comrades fell 

Confederate Armies, series 1, vol. XXX, part, 1, 528-31. Col. Martin mentions with 
special praise the gallant work of Heg. A report by Captain Mons Grinager of the Fif- 
teenth Wisconsin is in ibid., 533-34. "Skandinaverne ved Chickamauga," Emigranten, 
Oct. 12, 1863, deals with the part played by Scandinavians in the battle. 

^3 The letter is reprinted in the Wisconsin State Journal, Oct. 27, 1863. "From early 
childhood his characteristic has been that of cheerfulness and patience," wrote Skofstad. 
"One could not associate with him without feeling the magic of his power to dispel gloom 
and sorrow. In the hour of death this did not desert him. The same peaceful atmos- 
phere which surrounded him in life did then. From the nature of his wound his sufferings 
were severe, but he uttered no complaint. . ." At Heg's own request, Skofstad accom- 
panied his body home to Muskego. Langeland gives a somewhat different account of 
the circumstances of the wounding of Colonel Heg. Johnson, Det Skandinaviske Regiments 
Historie, 109. Cf . Ager, Oberst Heg og hans Gutter, 251 ; Fitch, The Chattanooga Campaign, 
87; letter of Lieut. Col. Johnson, dated Libby Prison, Nov. 3, 1863, in Wisconsin State 
Journal, Dec. 23, 1863. 

Colonel Hans Christian Heg 


at right and left, still he rallied on. From noon until sun- 
down he was constantly exposed to the fearful fire of the 
enemy. It was at this hour, when his day's work was so 
nigh done, that a ball from a sharpshooter's rifle pierced his 
bowels, causing the mortal wound. He did not stagger 
or fall, but even when death stared him in the face, full of 
life and ambition, and true to his manliness, he once more 
rallied his men, and rode on for about a quarter of a mile. 
Loss of blood enfeebled him, and he was obliged to resign 
his command. He was taken to a hospital, where he passed 
the weary night in suffering . . . ." 

Several officers of the Fifteenth Wisconsin visited their 
fallen chief as he lay on his deathbed on the night of Septem- 
ber 19. In response to one officer, who told Colonel Heg 
that he had heard of his gallantry during the battle, and that 
the boys of the Fifteenth would have been glad to see him, 
he answered, ''Tell my boys of the Fifteenth that I kept 
myself where I was needed, and that I knew they did not 
need me."^^ Lieutenant Colonel Johnson wrote thus of his 
visit to Heg: "I knew that I had looked into the face of our 
beloved colonel for the last time, and he was dearer to me 
now than ever before. He said to me that he was glad that 
the Fifteenth had held their places like men and had done 
their duty to the last."^^ According to Langeland, Colonel 
Heg said that he was willing to die, for he knew that his life 
was given for a just cause, and that he was but one of 
hundreds of thousands who had laid down their lives, gladly 
sacrificing them on the altar of their country. These 
humble and noble words may perhaps be said to typify 
Heg's attitude with respect to his own personal part in the 
great struggle. 

^* Quoted in Ager, Oberst Heg og Hans Gutter, 252. This evidence seems to cast some 
doubt upon the assertion that Heg fell in front of the Fifteenth Wisconsin while leading 
a bayonet charge. Ibid., 251. 

Quoted in Johnson, Det SIcandinaviske Regiments Historic, 54. 

8« Ibid., 109. 


Theodore C, Blegen 

The following morning, September 20, 1863, shortly 
before twelve o'clock. Colonel Heg passed away.^^ In the 
regiment as well as in the whole brigade his loss was deeply ^ 
mourned. He had apparently won the respect and love of i 
his soldiers to a peculiar degree. One of his captains wrote, ^ 
*'We miss him in our e very-day life, in the home circle there 
is a vacancy that can never be filled. We miss him in our r 
regiment, for he was more than a friend to us all. The in- i 
fluence he exerted among us will long be felt. Our hearts i 
are crowded with sorrow, but there is consolation in the •! 
thought that he died in the noblest of causes." Chief I 
of the brigade, he would probably have been made a briga- 
dier general in a short time, had he lived. In fact. General | 
Rosecrans is reported to have said, when informed of Heg's j 
death, 'T am very sorry to hear that Heg has fallen. He g 
was a brave officer, and I intended to promote him to be | 
general."^^ ] 

We can not follow further within the limits of this article 
the history of the Fifteenth Wisconsin. It played a bloody 
and brave part in the second day's fighting at Chickamauga. 
Lieutenant Colonel Johnson was taken prisoner and con- 
veyed to Libby Prison, from which he later escaped and 
made his way back to the regiment, becoming its colonel. 
The regiment was present at the taking of Missionary 
Ridge and took part in the march into Georgia. Its organ- 
izer and first leader was brought back to Muskego and 
buried with fitting honors in the churchyard of the Nor- 
wegian pioneer settlement to. which, twenty -three years 
before, his father's family had come as immigrants. 

His home state mourned with his home community when 
the news of his death became known. The Wisconsin 
State Journal echoed scores of newspaper comments when it 

«7 Wisconsin State Journal, Oct. 27, 1863. 
88 Ibid. 

8' According to Captain Grinager. Johnson, Det Skandinaviske Regiments Historie, 

Colonel Hans Christian Heg 


said, "The State has sent no braver soldier, and no truer 
patriot to aid in this mighty struggle for national unity, than 
Hans Christian Heg. The valorous blood of the old Vikings 
ran in his veins, united with the gentler virtues of a Chris- 
tian and a gentleman. On October 3, 1863 a meeting 
of Scandinavians was held at Madison, where appropriate 
resolutions were adopted as a tribute to Colonel Heg. The 
concluding section of these resolutions was as follows: 
"Resolved, That we mourn his untimely death, not as a loss 
sustained by individuals only, but as a loss inflicted upon 
a people who loved and respected him for his unswerving 
honesty, excellent ability and exalted patriotism, whom he 
so honorably and faithfully represented, and who will ever 
cherish his memory with the deepest and sincerest affec- 

Colonel Heg has often been spoken of as a Norwegian, 
and still more often as a Norwegian- American. These are 
both honorable titles. It is perhaps more appropriate, 
however, simply to say that he was an American. His is a 
story of one who threw himself wholly into the currents 
of the life of the new and adopted country. Without 
reserve he gave the best that he had to America. He knew 
the trials as well as the opportunities of pioneer life in the 
West. He learned to believe in and to cherish our American 
institutions and ideals. A man of the West, he joined the 
mighty throng that brought California into the Union. He 
served his community in many humble local oflSces. Chosen 
by popular election, he served the people of his state in a not 
unimportant official capacity. Finally, he gave himself 
without qualification to his country when its flag was in 
peril, and, leading a brigade of the American army, he 
died fighting for that flag. 

»° Wisconsin State Journal, Sept. 29, 1863. 
" Wisconsin State Journal, Oct. 7, 1863. 



That masses of human beings are subject, no less than J 
the lower animals, to sudden outbursts of wild, unreasoning 
panic and hysteria is a matter of common knowledge. In i 
civil life such outbursts may vary widely in form, depending j 
upon the nature of the occasion which has evoked them — j 
from the wild yet harmless gust of anger which swept over \ 
the country upon receipt of the news that Admiral Dewey j 
had given to his wife a house presented to him as the result | 
of popular subscription, to the more frequent causeless < 
stampede from a theater or other place of assemblage, with 
its toll of life and limb. In military life such hysteria morei 
commonly assumes the form of panic rout upon the occur- 
rence of some unexpected event supposedly favorable to the ^ 
opposite cause. So well recognized is this liability to sudden i 
panic that a prime purpose of military drill and discipline is i 
to eliminate the likelihood of its occurrence by reducing the r 
individuals who compose the army to automata who move 
only at the command of a superior. 

However causeless and foolish a given panic in the light i 
of after knowledge may appear to be, but little reflection is t 
required to show that certain causative conditions are 
common to all outbursts of this character. Briefly stated, i 
each individual is concerned for his own welfare, and 
because of a predisposing train of events the public mind 
has become imbued with the idea that this welfare isi 
seriously endangered; then the report is started, under: 
circumstances which do not admit of individual investi-i 
gation, that the danger feared is at hand. The report may 
be false and the danger wholly nonexistent; yet the individual - 
lacks the means of determining this and — wisely, often- 
times, in view of his state of information — seeks safety in 

The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 


sudden flight. His fear is heightened by the spectacle of 
those around him acting in Hke fashion, and for the time 
being he is deprived of his ordinary faculty of guiding his 
actions in the light of reasoned judgment. After the event 
the action taken may seem ridiculous enough; yet it is 
better to be a live object of ridicule than a dead object of 
pity. A few years ago a crowd of Sunday strollers went 
out upon the too-thin ice of a flooded Chicago lagoon. 
Suddenly the ice began to sink and a wild dash was made 
for the bank. All reached it in safety, with no greater 
damage than a large number of wet feet. Here the stampede 
was amply justified, and the crowd took the only wise 
course of running first and investigating afterwards. Can 
it be said that the wisdom of the action taken would have 
been less, had it been in response to a false alarm? If so, 
what shall be said of the wisdom of those who, refusing to 
credit the startling report of the rider who dashed down the 
Conemaugh Valley in advance of the Johnstown flood, 
neglected to make instant flight to the hills? Clearly, to 
paraphrase slightly the old verse, 

He who promptly flees away 

May live to investigate another day. 

Probably the most notable panic in the annals of Wis- 
consin was the great — and wholly causeless — Indian scare 
of 1862. So far as we know, no comprehensive study of 
this incident in our history has ever been made. We pro- 
pose to examine it, therefore, with the twofold object in 
view of putting on record a narrative of the event itself, 
and of drawing such conclusions from it as the facts adduced 
may seem to justify. 

For modern peoples, at least, war is an abnormal state 
of affairs and the public mind is keyed up to an abnormal 
state of excitement, viewing with indifference, or even witli 
positive approval, actions which in normal times would 
meet with severest reprehension. In Wisconsin in tlic 


M, M, Quaife 

autumn of 1862 the public mind was ripe for a siege of 
hysteria. For over a year the armies of the Union had been 
engaged in deadly grapple with a foe whose success would 
destroy the life of the nation ; and thus far there seemed but 
little reason for expecting that the foe would not succeed. 
Already the ''three-months' war" had dragged out to five 
times this length, and the Union armies had but little of 
positive achievement to their credit. In the West, it is 
true, some successes had been won, but the Army of the 
Potomac, which was to our Civil War what the Western 
Front was to the Allies in the World War, had in the hands 
of incompetent leaders encountered one bloody reverse after 
another, until, instead of Richmond being in Union hands, 
the late summer of 1862 witnessed the army of Lee and 
Jackson again in the immediate vicinity of Washington. 

In Wisconsin conditions reflected faithfully the gloomy 
state of national affairs. Already the frontier state with a 
meager population of eight hundred thousand had sent 
thirty thousand of her young men to the front. The 
country newspapers carried weekly long and ever-growing 
lists of casualties. Volunteering had fallen off to such an 
extent that already recourse to conscription had become 
necessary. In the lake-shore counties, where a large Ger- 
man and Belgian element lived, serious draft riots had 
developed. In Milwaukee order had been preserved only 
by bringing in large numbers of troops. The popular and 
respected chief executive of the state. Governor Harvey, 
had recently lost his life in a sorrowful accident — drowned 
in the Tennessee River while engaged on an errand of mercy 
to Wisconsin's sick and wounded soldiers after the battle 
of Shiloh. To a public thus sated with anxiety was sud- 
denly borne the news of the terrible Sioux Indian massacre 
in Minnesota, one of the the bloodiest in all the long story 
of conflict between the white race and the red. Although 
the people of Wisconsin were safe enough from Indian 

The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 


massacre, the public nerve suddenly broke, and a wave of 
senseless panic swept over the state. 

Even a brief glance at the Indian population of Wiscon- 
sin suffices to show that with the possible exception of 
the extreme northern and western portions of the state 
the whites stood in no conceivable danger from this 
source. The most powerful tribe was the Chippewa of Lake 
Superior; it numbered — counting only those living in 
Wisconsin — about forty-five hundred souls. By virtue of 
the treaty of La Pointe of 1854 it occupied four reserva- 
tions: one of 66,000 acres in Marathon County, another of 
the same size in Chippewa County, a third of 125,000 acres 
in Ashland County, and a fourth of 25,000 acres in La Pointe 
County. However, the tribe did not restrict itself to these 
reservations but wandered freely over much of the northern 
part of the state, picking berries and hunting and trapping. 

Next in strength to the Chippewa were the Menominee, 
who from time immemorial had resided in the vicinity of 
Green Bay. They had a reservation of 230,400 acres along 
the banks of Wolf River in Shawano County and accord- 
ing to the annual reports of their Indian agent were making 
creditable progress toward a state of agricultural self- 
sufficiency. Aside from this, they carried on logging opera- 
tions, hunted, trapped and fished, gathered berries, and 
manufactured maple sugar for sale to the whites. They 
numbered in 1862 about eighteen hundred souls. ^ 

In Brown and Outagamie counties, not far removed 
from the Menominee, was the reservation of the Oneida, 
comprising 61,000 acres. These were the most powerful 
of the '*New York Indians" who had come to Wisconsin 
some forty years before, numbering a little over one thous- 
and persons. The Stockbridge and Munsee, on a reserve 
of two sterile townships, completed the tale of the Indians 

' Much detailed information about the several tribes attached to the (^reen Hay 
Agency may be had in the annual reports of Agent Davis, which are printed with the 
reports of the United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs. 


M. M. Quaife 

attached to the Green Bay agency. In 1862 the agent re- 
ported 135 persons on the Stockbridge reservation and 214 
members of the tribe who were scattered over the north- 
western section of the state. These New York Indians 
were much further advanced in civihzation than any of the 
native Wisconsin tribes; and it seems apparent from the 
contemporary reports that to the extent their hard economic 
conditions and the interference of rascally white men per- 
mitted they were industrious, law-abiding citizens. ^ 

Besides these several tribes with legal habitations there 
were in the state about one thousand or twelve hundred 
wandering Indians, chiefly Potawatomi and Winnebago, 
who had managed to remain behind when these tribes were 
removed from Wisconsin, or else had returned to the state 
of their individual initiative after their removal to reserva- 
tions farther west.^ They had no settled homes, but 
moved about from place to place^ and subsisted by hunting 
and fishing and begging from the whites. They had no 
supervision by the general government until in 1864 Con- 
gress provided for a special agent with headquarters at 
Stevens Point to look after them. 

Altogether there were thus about nine thousand Indians 
in Wisconsin, of whom nearly eight thousand were attached 
to government agencies; a considerable proportion of them 
were far advanced in civilization and practically all were 
loyal to the government and desirous only of living in peace 
with their white neighbors. There were various causes 

2 The proximity of the Oneida to De Pere and Green Bay and the hostile attitude of 
the local courts made it impossible to prevent the debauching of these Indians by crooked 
liquor dealers. As illustrative of the attitude of the courts. Judge Miller pointedly com- 
plained that cases against illicit liquor sellers were brought before him, and lamented the 
expense and inconvenience caused the accused thereby. In one case the district attorney 
had presented his proofs in such convincing fashion that it seemed the jury could not 
avoid a verdict of guilty, when Judge Miller, in his charge, observed that the prosecution 
had not proved the defendants knew the men they sold to were Indians, and another verdict of 
acquittal was returned. 

2 In 1865 these wanderers were reported to number 1,500, but of these 350 were 
Potawatomi who had come in from Kansas during the preceding year. 

^ One such band which we shall shortly have occasion to notice was encamped for 
several years during the war on Horicon Lake in Dodge County. 

The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 


of friction between the two races; but it seems clear from 
the official reports and even from the statements of local 
white residents that the great bulk of such misconduct as 
the red men indulged in was induced by prior wrongdoing 
on the part of the whites. Their record for loyalty in the 
Civil War was one to put many a white community to shame. 
An alien race, and induced by no fear of conscription, they 
furnished a surprising number of volunteers to the several 
Wisconsin regiments. The Menominee, with a total popu- 
lation of 1,879, sent 125 soldiers into the army, and of these 
one-third died either of disease or on the field of battle.^ 
[The Oneida, less than 1,100 in number, furnished 111 
soldiers; while the Stockbridge and Munsee supplied forty- 
three soldiers from a total population of 338. 

No report was made of the number of soldiers supplied by 
the other Wisconsin tribes, but the correspondence of the 
governor's office affords interesting evidence of the attitude 
of the Chippewa.^ Three days after the surrender of Fort 
Sumter, M. M. Samuel of St. Croix Falls, a fur trader of 
twenty years' standing among the Chippewa, wrote to 
Governor Randall that he had five hundred Chippewa 
braves at his command, whose services he offered "to aid 
the cause of the Union in arms against Treason."^ Elabora- 
ting upon this offer, in response to a request from the 
Governor for more detailed information, Samuel explained 
that by reason of his long residence among the Chippewa 
he had acquired a thorough understanding of their "peculiar 
habits, manners, and views," and an influence commensur- 
ate with any enterprise he might propose to carry out. The 
one proposed would accomplish the twofold result of supply- 
j ing the government with five hundred soldiers and benefiting 
the frontier by the removal from it of a body of warriors 

^ Report of Green Bay Agency in Report of Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1865. 
• Now preserved in the State Historical Library. 
: ' M. M. Samuel to Governor Randall, April 17, 1861, ms. in governor's Civil War 


M, M, Quaife 

of this size.^ Concerning Samuel's proposal Augustus Gay- 
lord, his fellow-townsman, and later adjutant general of the 
state, wrote the governor expressing his belief in the 
trader's good faith and in his ability to carry out his plan.^ 
Gaylord raised a doubt, however, concerning the propriety 
of employing Indians "in the present contest with our 
brothers." About the same time Robert Grignon was 
tendering the Governor two hundred Menominee warriors, 
''all well armed with rifles, sure at forty rods."io Even- 
tually, however, no Indian military units were accepted by 
the authorities, and the red men who became soldiers 
entered the service by individually joining one or other of 
the white regiments which were being raised. In the 
absence of official data it is impossible to say how many 
Wisconsin Indians joined the army. Since the tribes 
attached to the Green Bay agency, with a total population 
of about thirty-three hundred, supplied two hundred 
seventy-six men for the army, it seems conservative to 
assume that the whole nine thousand Indians in the state 
furnished five hundred or six hundred soldiers. Whatever 
the precise number may have been, it is amply evident that 
the vast majority of the warriors in Wisconsin were friendly 
to the whites and loyal to the government. 

Had the case been otherwise, however, the red men 
could have accomplished little against the whites and for 
them to have taken the warpath would have been sheer 
insanity. The bands were widely scattered over a vast 
extent of country; the several tribes had little in common 
with each other; they were all poverty-stricken and quite 
lacking in resources for carrying on a war; at the best, 
they numbered nine thousand people in the midst of a 
white population of eight hundred thousand. It may be \ 

* Samuel to Randall, May 14, 1861, ms. in governor's Civil War correspondence. 
9 Letters of Gaylord to Randall, April 24, 1861, and to W. H. Watson, May 16, 1861, 
in governor's Civil War correspondence. 

^° Letter to Governor Randall, May 8, 1861, in governor's Civil War correspondence, k 

The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 173 

granted, of course, that there was some excuse for anxiety 
on the part of the sparse white population of northwestern 
Wisconsin; but when the scare came it moved with trans- 
ports of terror the inhabitants of populous counties and 
towns who were in no conceivable danger, extending even 
to the metropolis of the state itself. 

A curious foreshadowing of the great panic of 1862 was 
had exactly a year before in the Indian scare at Horicon.^^ 
Early on the morning of Monday, August 26, 1861, a breath- 
less messenger came to the village with the information 
that fourteen houses had been burned by the Indians at 
Kekoskee and some of the inhabitants had been murdered. 
It was also reported that eight hundred warriors were on 
their way to Horicon to burn and pillage the town. The 
news spread rapidly through the village, and the streets were 
soon thronged by excited townsmen. Crowds of women 
stood crying on one corner while the men congregated on 
another to discuss what should be done, and the children, 
dismissed from school, ran wailing through the streets. 
Wagonloads of farmers came in from the surrounding 
country, and an effort was made to arm the men, but only a 
motley array of firearms "with here and there a bludgeon 
and pitchfork" could be produced. So great was the alarm 
that many families made hasty preparations to leave for 
Milwaukee and some actually started. Meanwhile a tele- 
gram was sent to that city for state troops to come to the 
rescue of the beleaguered village, and a large company of 
men from Hustisford marched to Horicon to bear a share 
in the defense of that place. 

Shortly after noon several wagonloads of men who had 
gone to Kekoskee to reconnoiter returned with the report 
that all was quiet at that place. They had found only 
twenty-five or thirty Indians around the encampments 
there, thoroughly frightened at the appearance of so many 

"The data for the description which follows arc drawn from tho Horioon GazcUe, 
,Aug. 28, 1861. 


M, M. Quaife 

armed men among them. But this report did not suffice 
to allay the terror of the panic-stricken townsmen of 
Horicon. The small number of Indians seen was regarded 
by many as a highly suspicious circumstance, and it was 
surmised that their enemies were lying concealed in the 
woods waiting the approach of darkness before beginning 
their work of destruction. At a public gathering in the 
afternoon a committee of fifteen was appointed to make a 
second investigation of the situation and discover, if possible, 
the cause of the alarm. 

This committee journeyed to the Indian camp the same 
afternoon and the next morning proceeded with their 
investigation. They found that the camp contained twenty- 
three men, with three times as many women and children. 
With the aid of an interpreter a long talk was had with the 
chiefs of the band, who expressed their "utter astonish- 
ment" at the visitation from so large a body of armed men 
the day before, saying that if attacked they ''should fold 
their hands and unresistingly be shot down." They 
ridiculed the idea of so small a band of warriors rising in 
insurrection in the midst of thousands of white men; they 
had no other home than this small piece of land and here 
they wished to live in peace until gathered to their fathers. 

Such sentiments were highly encouraging to the com- 
mittee, which now proceeded to inquire into the origin of 
the report of hostilities. It found the whole matter had 
grown out of a quarrel between a German settler, named 
Dagen, and a drunken Indian. The German had threat- 
ened to shoot one of the red men's ponies, and about two 
weeks before the panic one of them had been shot, by Dagen 
as the Indians believed. On Sunday, August 25, one of the 
Indians, in a partially-intoxicated condition, accused Dagen 
of the shooting and "chased him around a stump, but did 
not draw his knife from his girdle." Dagen appealed to his 
neighbors to watch his house and stacks for fear they would 

The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 


be burned, and thus the rumor spread, *'and grew as it 
traveled until it became truly alarming." The report of 
the committee took occasion to condemn in strongest terms 
the conduct of those whites who were in the habit of selling 
liquor to the Indians, "and especially those who, visiting 
their camps, take the opportunity of insulting their fe- 
males"; it concluded by gravely expressing the belief "that 
the lives and property of whites in the vicinity are safe." 

Notwithstanding its slight foundation, the scare of 1861 
was not confined to Horicon or even to the limits of Dodge 
County. Many of the neighboring towns, on receipt of the 
news of hostilities at Horicon, excitedly prepared to rush 
armed men to the scene. At Beaver Dam dispatches were 
received by the mayor that fifteen hundred Indians were at 
Horicon. A man rode through the countryside at full 
speed warning the farmers to flee for their lives, and many 
set out with their families for town, some with beds and 
blankets on which to pass the night.^^ "Determined men" 
set out for Horicon, armed with a motley array of weapons, 
— guns, pistols, corncutters, and pitchforks — but en route 
it was learned that the report of hostilities was false, and 
the men returned to their homes. 

At West Bend, in Washington County, the news from 
Horicon produced a night of terror. The excitement began 
in the afternoon on receipt of the first report of an impend- 
ing Indian descent upon Horicon. It became more general 
when at about seven o'clock the evening Milwaukee paper 
arrived confirming the news of the outbreak. Nothing of 
importance transpired, however, until ten o'clock, when a 
messenger came in from the Dekorra Road, some ten miles 
west, with the information that a large body of Indians was 
descending upon West Bend. This news, according to the 
contemporary scribe, "capt the climax." To the wild 
firing of guns and the roll of drums in the streets people 

" Beaver Dam Argus, Aug. 30, 1861. 
" West Bend Post, Aug. 31, 1861. 


M, M. Quaife 

sprang from their beds. ''Children were crying and men 
and women were seen running in all directions. Speeches 
were made advising the men to stand by their homes and 
their families till the last. Picket guards were immediately 
formed and sent out in every direction, armed with rifles, 
shotguns, pistols, pitchforks, or whatever could be got hold 
of." The gunsmith was kept at work all night repairing 
ancient muskets and pistols. Some of the women packed 
their silverware, while others, still more prudent, advised 
their husbands to make their wills. One woman who had 
been bedridden for over a year and who lived half a mile out 
from town was hastily dumped into a wheelbarrow and 
trundled into the village for safety. Mounted men went 
out at half -hourly intervals to visit the pickets and returned 
reporting all well until two o'clock A. M. Then a man was 
reported shot, but it was finally ascertained that he was 
''shot in the neck with sidearms which he carried." At Bar- 
ton, a short distance north of West Bend, one man stood 
picket all night armed with an ax and clad only in a shirt, 
not daring to leave his post long enough to dress. 

At Fox Lake a similar state of excitement prevailed on 
receipt of the news from Horicon. The townsmen hastily 
armed, and about two hundred were leaving for the scene 
of battle when another dispatch from Horicon brought word 
that no help was needed there. Even at distant Gales- 
ville, almost across the state from Horicon, the fear inspired 
in a "Dutchman's" breast by one intoxicated Indian sufficed 
to produce a full-blown panic. When the report of trouble 
at Horicon reached town the citizens suddenly recalled 
that Indians had been there buying powder and lead, and the 
story gained credence that Galesville was to be burned and 
its population massacred. Guns were collected and 
cleaned, pitchforks, corn knives, and fish spears were 
brought out and placed in the hands of an extempore 

" Fox Lake Gazette, Aug. 29, 1861. 
La Crosse Democrat, Sept. 6, 1861. 

The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 


Home Guard. For bullets old type from the printing 
I office, tea lead, and masons' plummets were melted. In 
1 response to the story that two hundred Indians were to 
I attack Galesville in the night, patrols were kept up until 

daylight. The state of panic prevailed until the receipt 

of a telegram that Horicon was safe and the massacre story 

a humbug. 

The ridiculous spectacle afforded by the Horicon scare, 
news of which was blazoned far and wide in the press of the 
state, might well have fortified the public mind against an 
early repetition of this particular species of folly, but no such 
consequence followed. News of the Sioux massacres in Min- 
nesota in August, 1862, sent a wave of horror over the 
Northwest. In Minnesota it was feared for a short time that 
the Chippewa, who like the Sioux had a grievance against 
their agent, would make common cause with their ancient 
I enemies against the whites. This fear extended to the white 
j population of north and northwest Wisconsin, although the 
\ sequel showed that the alarm, in this state at least, was 
entirely without foundation. 

Governor Salomon moved with vigor to the relief of the 
anxious settlers. He dispatched to the several points from 
ii which reports of danger came all the arms at his disposal 
and appealed to the War Department at Washington. 
"Appeals are daily made to me," he telegraphed Stanton 
on September 2, *'for arms and ammunition. Families 
are leaving their homes for fear of the wandering bands. 
I am well satisfied that these Indians have been tampered 
with by rebel agents. The people must be protected. 
Prevention is better than cure. I have furnished to differ- 
ent localities all the state arms, some eight hundred that we 
have, and must send more. More arms must be furnished 
immediately, as only about 8,000 stand have been sent here, 
and we have full 13,000 men assigned to new regiments 
formed and forming . . . ." His appeals produced little 


M. M. Quaife 

effect upon Secretary Stanton, however, who sternly 
rebuked the governor for his "imperious orders" to the | 
War Department. SuppUes of ammunition were for- 
warded to Wisconsin, however, and somewhat belatedly 
Major General Pope, fresh from his conflicts with Lee and 
Jackson in Virginia, was sent into the Northwest to assume 
command of the entire situation. Meanwhile Governor 
Salomon had procured the recall from Kentucky of Maurice 
Samuel, now a captain in the First Wisconsin Infantry, and 
sent him into the Chippewa country to allay the appre- 
hensions of the people and exert what influence he might 
for the preservation of peace. From St. Croix Falls on 
August 30 Samuel reported to the governor that much 
apprehension existed in the counties of Dunn, Pepin, Pierce, 
and St. Croix, and in some of the towns midnight alarms 
had occurred, with the people rushing from their beds and 
houses in fear of imminent massacre. Notwithstanding this 
excitement, Samuel could learn of no depredation com- 
mitted or threats made by the Chippewa. He had met 
A-que-en-zee, a war chief of the tribe, who had manifested 
only the most pacific intentions toward the whites. On the 
following day, August 31, Captain Harriman reported from 
Hudson upon measures he had taken to allay the panic in 
that vicinity. ''So far as I can judge," he wrote, "the fear 
is mutual, and the Indians and Whites are striving to outdo 
each other in conceding Territory — i.e. while the whites 
are running in one direction the Indians are running in the 

Samuel, at the request of A-que-en-zee and in pursuance 
of his commission from the governor, proceeded to Superior 
to bring his influence to bear upon the Chippewa of that 
vicinity. Before his arrival the inhabitants had indulged 
in a severe panic, the course of which was more prolonged 
than at any other place in Wisconsin.^^ A committee of 

Stanton to Governor Salomon, Sept. 5, 1862, ms. in governor's correspondence. 
The story is conveniently summarized in Wisconsin Magazine of History, III, 



The Undersigned Committee of Safety, by vir- 
tue of the power in them vested, issue the follow- 
ing Orders : 

1st. There will be a regularly organized Guard detailed each day, 
who will go on duty at 9 o'clock each evening, and remain on, until 5 
o'clock the following morning, which Guard will act under the orders of 
an officer to be appointed by the Committee of Safety. To the further, 
ance of this regulation, every male person residing within the limits of 
the Town, between the ages of 18 and 60 years, will be called upon in 
their turn to stand guard, and if not able to perform the service person- 
ally, they will bo required to furnish a substitute. 

2d. All families are required to sleep each night, within the 
following precscribed limits, namely: 

Between St. Johns and ThompiK>n Aveimes, 
and Fourth Street and the Bay. 

3d. All venders of ammunition, are prohibited selling or dispo- 
sing of the same to any INDIAN, under penalty of CONFISCATION 
and having their places of business Closed. 

4th. Any Indian or Squaw who may be found in a state of in* 
toxication will be taken into custody and made to disclose from whom 
they obtained such Intoxicating Liquor. 

Sth. Any person who shall sell or give Liquor to any Indian 
or Squaw, will be arrested^ his stocl^ taken possession of, and a guard 
placed over bis or her premises, until a proper disposition of th« 
same, shall be determined upon 


Committee of Safety. 
THE COMMITTEE Suggest to the Inhabitants of the neigh- 
boriog towns, the propriety of ooncentrating at this point, until all 
dangar has paased. 


M, M. Quaife 

public safety was organized which, on August 31, issued 
PubHc Order No. 1: Every male inhabitant between the 
ages of eighteen and sixty was required to take his turn at 
guard duty; the town was to be patrolled nightly from nine 
o'clock until five in the morning; all families were required 
to sleep within certain limits designated in the order; and 
venders of ammunition and whisky to the Indians were 
threatened with punishment. Notwithstanding these meas- 
ures, so great was the panic that on September 3 some 
thirty people departed on the steamer Neptune and others 
were prevented from going only because of absence of 
transportation. ''Why not have a battery of artillery 
stationed here," wrote James Ritchie, draft commissioner, 
to the governor on September 4, "there are Empty houses 
enough to accommodate several Regiments." 

In January, 1862, Ritchie had procured the enrollment 
of a company of men at Superior known as the Douglas 
County Home Guards. On September 18 the Committee 
of Public Safety directed every able-bodied man to enroll 
in this company for service until relieved by United States 
soldiers. An inventory taken by the committee disclosed 
the presence of sixty firearms of all sorts in the town, and 
one of the members, E. C. Clark, was dispatched to Madison 
with an appeal for government arms and troops. Both 
were supplied, although it was not until early November 
that the soldiers reached Superior. Meanwhile the Douglas 
County Home Guards had continued to play the role of 
protector to the anxious community. Early in November 
Judge McCloud of Bayfield visited General Pope at St. Paul 
to acquaint him with the danger the home community was 
still believed to be in from the Chippewa. In its initial 
stage the panic at Superior was similar to that which at the 
beginning of September spread over a large portion of the 
state, but it is evident from its long continuance that the 
anxiety of the people of this section had a different basis 

The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 


than did the wholly causeless and foolish temporary panic 
of early September in central and eastern Wisconsin. 

Beginning in Western Wisconsin in the last days of 
August, the panic wave rolled eastward until its climax was 
reached in the section immediately north and west of 
Milwaukee on September 3 and 4. Captain Samuel on 
August 30 reported from St. Croix Falls a general state of 
fear throughout Dunn, Pepin, St. Croix, and Pierce counties, 
with people in many towns rushing from their beds and 
houses "immagining the bloody scenes of the Pioneer days 
of old to be upon them and a savage foe about to deprive 
them of life or home." From Hudson, August 31, Captain 
Harriman reported the white men and Indians as equally 
scared, with each in mortal fear of the other. At Prescott 
an editorial notice in the Journal of August 27 ridiculed the 
idea of any danger from Indians to the people of Pierce 
County. Notwithstanding, the panic ran its course, and 
the Journal of September 3 announced that "the ridiculous 
Indian excitement in this county" was over. The chief 
incident in this county was the stampede of the people 
of Beldenville to River Falls ''while not an Indian was within 
fifty miles." "It was a ridiculous sight," wrote a sarcastic 
correspondent of the Journal, "to see Beldenville marshal 
its forces and march to the River Falls stronghold. The 
forces consisted of ox teams laden with stoves, pots, kettles, 
pork, potatoes, women and children too numerous to men- 
tion, trunks, bundles of bed clothes, and three men, and 
Beldenville is a deserted city. Yes, Beldenville the great 
has fallen." 

From the Menomonie Dunn County Lumberman of 
September 6 we get a clear picture of the panic in that 
vicinity. For ten days past the people of the county had 
been intensely excited over the Indian situation. On rccoij^t 
of news of the Minnesota massacre the people had pronij)t ly 
organized companies of Home Guards for the purpose of 


M. M, Quaife 

defense, but singularly enough, coincident with these defen- 
sive measures the terror of the people increased, and soon 
"the whole population of the county were in commotion 
and on the move, flying from approaching savages." For 
four days, beginning August 29, "a constant stream of men, 
women and children" poured into Menomonie, all fully con- 
vinced that the Indians were close behind them murdering 
every white person they could overtake and devastating 
the settlements as they progressed. In most cases the 
fugitives had left everything behind in their mad race to 
keep ahead of the imaginary pursuers. Some, however, 
had loaded their wagons with bedding and provisions ; others 
destroyed the property they were unable to carry away. 
One man threw a quantity of flour into the river to prevent 
the Indians getting it; he then bestowed some other loose 
property upon a neighbor who had concluded not to run 
away, and embarked in a boat down the Red Cedar bound 
for *Tennsylvany." 

Whole settlements were evacuated. The entire Nor- 
wegian settlement "fled in the greatest consternation." The 
Mud Creek settlers scattered in several directions, some 
to Menomonie, some to the southward, while others took 
to the cornfields. The panic struck the Massee settlement 
on Sunday, August 31.^^ Church services had been held 
as usual, when those living east of the schoolhouse were 
met by someone with the report that the Indians were 
coming, and for them to give the alarm. Two men imme- 
diately started on horseback to spread the alarm, and a mad 
rush ensued for Downs ville. "When we arrived there," 
relates a participant, "it seemed as though everybody in 
that vicinity was there, some had their household goods, 
but each had some sort of a weapon of defense, all the guns, 
axes, pitchforks, and scythes were there." The question 
now arose as to what next should be done. It was finally 

For this account, in addition to the Dunn County Lumberman of Sept. 6, 1862, I 
have drawn upon a paper read by J. C. Ticknor at the Old Settlers' meeting, Oct. 18, 1913. 

The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 


agreed, before proceeding farther, to send out a reconnoiter- 
ing party of armed men to discover the facts of the situation. 
This party, caught in a heavy rainstorm, camped for the 
night in a barn by the roadside. While waiting for the 
scouts to report, some of the fugitives at Downsville began 
building rafts to descend the river to Durand, while others 
started in wagons for that place. In the midst of these 
preparations the thunderstorm which detained the scouts 
broke, and many declared the thunder to be the report of 
cannon at Menomonie. 

The panic in this vicinity subsided almost as rapidly 
as it had arisen. At Downsville the discomfort produced 
by the thunderstorm, which thoroughly drenched the 
fugitives, combined with an absence of sleeping accommoda- 
tions to bring about the beginnings of a state of sanity, and 
by the following night most of them were back in their 
homes. In general this was the story everywhere. As 
soon as people began to think, they realized the foolishness 
of their fears and made haste to return to their abandoned 
homes. The example of the press was helpful in quieting 
the excitement, as the editors, almost without exception, 
ridiculed the idea of danger and counseled their readers 
to remain calm. At Sparta the Herald of September 3 
urged that no real cause for alarm existed in Monroe and 
adjoining counties. If the natives had ever contemplated 
hostilities, the idea was abandoned ere now, since they 
knew the whites were prepared for an attack. Here, as at 
most places in western Wisconsin, a Home Guard had been 
organized with over one hundred members. Curiously 
enough, while the excitement was subsiding in some com- 
munities it was rising in others. At La Crosse it was reported 
on September 7 that the Lewis Valley settlement had been 
burned by Indians.^^ This news was brought, character- 
istically enough, not by a resident of Lewis Valley but by a 

" La Crosse Weekly Democrat, Sept. 8, 1862. 


M, M, Quaife 

man from Salem. In Lewis Valley the people were being 
told of the destruction of the Bostwick Valley and Mormon 
Coulee settlements, while the Black River Falls Banner 
conveyed the information to friends at La Crosse, Sparta, 
and elsewhere, that the horrible tales they had heard of 
massacre at Black River Falls were all untrue. ''This is a 
great country for people to believe all they hear," dryly 
commented the editor of the Democrat. Yet even as he 
wrote, scores of people from the adjacent section of Minne- 
sota were pouring into La Crosse. None of them had seen 
any Indians, but "their neighbors" had seen many. The 
editor did not believe there was an Indian within seventy- 
five miles of La Crosse, but in the popular excitement 
''every bush has an Indian behind it, every moan of the 
wind is an Indian signal, the hoot of the owl is nothing 
but the infuriated whoop of an army of savages." The 
Democrat granted there might be some cause for alarm, but 
there was none for a general stampede. A heavy force of 
armed men was between the Indians and the settlers, and 
the chief desideratum now was confidence. Home Guards 
should be organized, and those who spread lying reports 
should be promptly tarred and feathered and hanged. 

It is as impracticable as it is unnecessary to describe all 
the scenes of panic in this section of the state, but it may 
be worth while to present the clear, albeit ungrammatical, 
statement made on behalf of the inhabitants of the village 
of Wilton concerning their reasons for fearing the red men. 
At a meeting held September 6 it was decided to organize 
a military company for home defense, and a "corresponding 
committee" appealed to the governor for authority and 
instructions to this end. "We have not taken this step," 
the committee wrote, "from feers of an amediate attact 
from the savages now roving in our midst. But from 
observations that have been made, and from facts that 
have been and are being brought to light, are of that 

The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 


carictor, seemingly that would convince any thoughtful 
man that thare is a porful effort being made on the part of 
individuals from some quarters, as belonging to some class 
of vile traiter to our noble government, to afect a younion 
of all the diferent tribes of wild Aborigines of our States 
and Teritories to attact our fronttier, and thus aid on the 
work of the desstruction of our noble government. Among 
the many evidences whitch we have of this fact are the 
following — White men have been discovered in the rankes 
of the savages, disguised as wariers, the Indians have 
strangely of late come in posesion of formidable arms and 
emmunition. Tribes that have long been engaged in war, 
and untill laitly entertained the most dedly enmity to 
each other, are seen mingling together in warlike companies, 
and seem deeply agitated upon some topic and the ungarded 
language and haughty demeanor of some that rove in our 
midst clearly show that the tribes even in our midst are but 
watting for the consumation of some great plan, preparitory 
to a fierful blow upon our ungarded frontier. If these 
things be so, and none in our midst have confidence to say 
that they are not so, is it eny thing strange that we as lowial 
citizens of this staite and dwelling upon our vary frontier 
exsposed to these savages, if such an attact should be made, 
should feel a deep anxiety to plaise ourselves in the best 
attitude of defience." 

The committee's statement of its "evidence" was made, 
it is to be noted, after the immediate panic had subsided 
in this particular community; yet it reveals clearly the 
state of mind which was responsible for that outburst of 
emotional unreason. Given a quantity of gasoline, it 
requires but the application of a match to produce an ex- 
plosion; the match taken by itself would be harmless. In 
the outbreak we are studying the abnormal state of the 
public mind supplied the gasoline; the application of some 
report of Indian outrage, however improbable or foolish 
it might be in itself, produced the panic. 


M. M, Quaife 

The panic in central Wisconsin, in the region centering 
about Stevens Point, seems to have taken place quite as 
early as in the western part of the state. At Wautoma 
the scare was at its height as early as August 27, and by 
September 3 had subsided. 20 The local editor ridiculed the 
fears of his neighbors, who were organizing guards and 
maintaining nightly patrols when there w^re not fifty 
Indians within fifty miles and the town wajiisurrounded on 
all sides by thickly settled country. As a typical instance 
of the silliness of the current rumors, the visit of four 
homeless Menomonie on a begging expedition was magnified 
by the time the report reached Fond du Lac into the story 
that four hundred warriors had burned Wautoma and mas- 
sacred its citizens. The alarm in this section of the state 
was promoted by widespread reports that large bodies of 
''strange" Indians were congregating in the region between 
the Black and the Wisconsin rivers. 21 The editor of the 
New Lisbon Juneau County Argus, commenting on the local 
fears, expressed the belief on August 27 that there was no 
danger; yet he approved the organization of a Home Guard 
on general principles, and favored also the request made of 
the governor that a regiment of soldiers be stationed at 
New Lisbon. At this place it was popularly believed 
that bands of warriors amounting to as many as one thous- 
and were congregated within twenty miles of town; on 
inquiry, however, the four hundred Indians reported at 
Tunnel dwindled to fifty; the three hundred on Big Creek 
proved to be the night camp of a small party on their way 
to attend a green corn dance above Necedah; and the four 
hundred near Scott and Bulkeley's mill proved to be six 
capable of taking the warpath, with the usual number of 
squaws, papooses, and dogs. On Saturday, August 30, 

20 Wautoma Waushara County Argus, Aug. 27 and Sept. 3, 1862. 

21 See, e.g., letter of Moses Strong from Stevens Point, Aug. 30, printed in Milwaukee 
Sentinel, Sept. 2; and letter of L. S. Cohn from Wausau, Aug. 30, printed in Berlin Courant, 
Sept. 4. 

The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 


Judge Miner of Neeedah and a delegation of citizens visited 
the Indian camp fourteen miles above town, where all the 
red men from this section of the state were congregated. 
The camp contained, by actual count, seventy-two men, all 
of whom were as badly scared as the most timid of the 
whites. Oi being interviewed their chiefs protested they 
had no remot notion of hostility and said that if attacked 
by the whites cxiey would lay down their arms and make 
no resistance. 

The report which Judge Miner brought back produced 
some abatement of the excitement in the immediate vicinity 
of Neeedah. It had no effect on the contemporary hysteria 
in other places, however. A resident of Berlin en route 
to Lake Superior, wrote from Wausau on August 30 an 
account of his observations to that date.^^ At Plover the 
talk had been that two hundred armed and mounted Indians 
were coming from Grand Rapids to destroy the place. At 
Stevens Point the observer had found all quiet, but learned 
that some fifty Indians had been there a week or two 
earlier and had left for Waupaca on a begging expedition. 
Arriving at Wausau August 30, the traveler found that a 
Home Guard had been organized and was patrolling the 
town at night. The previous night a report of fifty Indians 
descending the river had created great excitement, and 
women ran through the streets crying, "My children, my 
children." Investigation revealed that the party consisted 
of a single Indian who was out on a night fishing trip. 

At Grand Rapids the scare ran its course somewhat 
earlier, apparently, than at most adjoining points. For 
two months rumors of prospective Indian depredations were 
in circulation. 23 It was reported that bands of warriors 
numbering from one to eight hundred and belonging to 
various tribes were stealthily camping in the vicinity. At 
length the gathering excitement culminated in a panic 

22 Letter of L. S. Cohn in Berlin Courant, Sept. 4, ISGid. 
28 Grand Rapids Wood County Reporter, Sept. 13, 1802. 


M. M. Quaife 

outburst on the night of August 22. A citizen saw what he 
took to be a mounted Indian, who on being accosted dis- 
appeared in the gathering darkness. The alarm was given, 
and by sending messengers to all occupied houses, within 
two hours the entire population was raised, armed with 
every conceivable weapon of defense. Lights were ordered 
to be left burning while the crowd assembled in a hall to 
organize for defense against the anticipated attack. It was 
now reported that two townsmen who had gone out to make 
a reconnoissance had come upon two Indians in Centralia, 
and a spasm of renewed alarm ensued. However, the night 
wore away without any attack and the advent of dawn 
brought "joy and peace" to the anxious watchers. On the 
following evening the citizens again assembled, this time 
to organize a Home Guard. Officers were chosen, some 
thirty pickets were stationed to guard the town, and a peti- 
tion was dispatched by messenger to the governor appealing 
for a supply of arms. Excitement ran high for three days, 
when it was discovered that the two "Indians" who had 
been seen in Centralia were in fact two white men out on a 
reconnoissance of their own. With no new cause for alarm, 
the terror subsided and the volunteer guard disbanded, 
despite the efforts of the officers to hold it together. A few 
days later two Indians actually did enter Grand Rapids 
in the broad light of day. They were chiefs, come as 
spokesmen of their band to enter into a treaty with the 
whites, or take any other action they might to avert the 
impending attack which they feared was about to be made 
upon them. The panic of the whites had induced a similar 
but far more reasonable panic among the red men them- 

It remained for the group of lake-shore counties extend- 
ing from Milwaukee to Green Bay and westward as far as 
Lake Winnebago to put the climax to this reign of hysteria 
on September 3 and 4. Suddenly, as if by spontaneous 

The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 


combustion, over all this populous region the inhabitants 
were seized with the idea that destroying hordes were upon 
them, and bereft of all sense or reason they sought safety 
in headlong flight. 

At Chilton on September 3 word came that Centerville 
in Manitowoc County had been destroyed. Three thous- 
and Indians were advancing on New Holstein and five hun- 
dred more were murdering the residents of Holland in 
Brown County. The residents of New Holstein started 
en masse for Fond du Lac; those of Woodville sought refuge 
at Stockbridge or Clifton; while the inhabitants of Rantoul, 
Brillion, and other points fled for Chilton. Here pickets 
were stationed on every avenue leading into the city, and 
the streets were patrolled nearly all night. Then a deliverer 
appeared in the person of Judge Pierpont, a level-headed 
resident of Manitowoc. He went among the people show- 
ing them the absurdity of their fright; by morning the panic 
had subsided, and those who had succumbed to it began 
to feel ashamed over the figure they had cut. 

For several days reports from the north had come into 
Fond du Lac of another "Horicon War," without exciting 
attention, when in the evening of September 3 a stream of 
fugitive families from Chilton and Calumet began pouring 
into the city.^^ Manitowoc was in ashes, Sheboygan was 
plundered and burning, and the red devils were thundering 
on to Greenbush and Chilton — such was the exciting 
character of the tale the fugitives told. That night a 
picket guard was put out to the north of the city, **armed 
with revolvers they didn't know how to shoot, and pistols 
they couldn't cock." On Thursday, the fourth, little 
occurred until noon, when a fresh stream of fugitives began 
pouring in, this time from the southeast, with reports of the 
destruction of Sheboygan, Plymouth, Greenbush, Manito- 
woc, and Wacousta. The town was now thoroughly 

2* Chilton Times, Sept. 6, 1862. 

^ Fond du Lac Saturday Reporter, Sept. 6, 1862. 


M, M, Quaife 

aroused, and great crowds gathered in the streets to discuss 
the situation pro and con. In a short time parties of men 
were sent out to investigate the truth of the reports. "On 
every road," wrote the local editor, who accompanied one of 
these parties, "we could see dozens of wagons all loaded 
down with women and children fleeing towards the city — 
no men were along — all had been left at home to fight. 
Everywhere on the road we saw empty houses, flying fami- 
lies, and numerous picket-guards facing towards the south- 
east, armed with old shotguns and awaiting the first attack, 
. . . Every family met was asked if they had seen the 
Indians — and sure enough in that whole trip of fourteen 
miles not a person could be found that had seen an Indian, 
though all were satisfied that the said Indians were but a 
short distance behind them. And so the various parties 
sent out returned without finding a trace of an Indian, and 
seeing nothing but a deserted country." Our editor speaks 
highly of the bravery of the men, but in the press of other 
cities the saving of Fond du Lac from destruction was 
facetiously credited to an aged female tollgate keeper. When 
the war party appeared the braves had no money to pay 
toll with and she dutifully refused them permission to pass. 

The scare at Appleton was precipitated by a report 
received on Wednesday afternoon, September 3, that the 
Indians were burning and massacring in the town of Morris- 
town, and "marching on in their butchery."^^ The night 
was bright with moonlight; the people gathered in the 
streets, and three scouts were sent out to learn the facts. 
Meanwhile fugitives began to arrive, and the stories they 
told grew with every repetition. Some of the townsmen 
packed their valuables and wanted the train got out for 
Oshkosh ; others favored sending for the soldiers at Oshkosh 
to come to Appleton. Eventually all went to bed. At noon 
the next day the scouts returned; they reported that a group 

^ Appleton Crescent, Sept. 6, 1862. 

The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 


of hungry Indians near Manitowoc River had slaughtered 
an ox and roasted it; also that the whole country was panic- 
stricken. Numbers traveled all night fleeing towards 
Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Neenah, Green Bay, and other 
places. So rattled were the Apple tonians that in the 
opinion of the local editor half a dozen Indians could have 
taken peaceable possession of the city. 

At Plymouth, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Port Washington, 
Waukesha, Richfield, and apparently everywhere through- 
out the section of the state we are discussing, scenes similar 
to those already described were enacted. For the sake of 
brevity we content ourselves with presenting merely repre- 
sentative details concerning them. 

At Manitowoc the excitement began on the evening of 
Tuesday, the second, when fugitives from Branch, a point 
seven miles northwest, reported that the Indians were but 
three miles behind, slaughtering and burning. A guard 
was hastily formed a*nd the streets entering town were 
patrolled. The story from Branch proved a humbug, but 
fresh reports fed the excitement. The valiant women of 
the town are said to have gathered in the upper stories of 
the courthouse equipped with vessels of boiling water to be 
used in scalding the on-coming hordes. A male settler, less 
valiant, hid himself in a featherbed; while some found 
comfort in the reflection that if worst came to worst they 
could embark upon the vessels in the harbor and find refuge 
on the bosom of Lake Michigan. It was stated that over a 
thousand fugitives rushed into the city and that five hun- 
dred men were under arms during the night of September 3. 

A pioneer resident of Plymouth, Mrs. H. N. Smitli. has 
left a lively and somewhat satirical account of the panic at 
that place, written some ten years after the event.^* The 

" Manitowoc Pilot, Sept. .5, 1802; letter of R. G. Pluml) (ms.) Jan. T). 101 8; correspond- 
ence from Manitowoc dated Sept. 4, in Milwaukee SnifinrI, Sept. 10. 18()4. 

This is one of a series of articles on the history of IMymontli. printed in the Tly mouth 
Reporter beginning Dec. 10, 1872. See also report from Plymouth in Shel)oygan Evergreen 
City Times, Sept. 6, 1862. 


M. M. Quaife 

calm peace of the early September day was suddenly broken 
by a solitary horseman riding headlong into town with the 
"blood-freezing" news that Manitowoc, Two Rivers, Chil- 
ton, and Franklin had been sacked and their citizens slain by 
a band of red men at whose hands Plymouth would shortly 
meet a similar fate. The skepticism of such as were inclined 
to doubt this first report was soon dispelled by the arrival of 
another horseman with a story still more thrilling. "The 
afternoon sun was already far in the west when the very air 
seemed to tremble with the quaking panic. As twilight 
approached there was a rush of hundreds of wagons. . . 
The men were armed with scythes, sickles, butcher-knives, 
corn-cutters, screw-drivers, and every species of firearms 
possible to be procured. On they came, load after load, 
till not only the taverns but the private houses and even 
the little depot swarmed with unexpected guests. . . 
A council of war disclosed the presence of a considerable 
number of firearms, but only three pounds of powder in town, 
the property of Delos Gates. This, Mrs. Gates prudently 
secured in her apron and refused to part with "for love or 
money." A citizen bravely offered to go to Sheboygan for 
powder, and while the crowd and excitement continued to 
wax, three others volunteered to go out to the north and 
investigate the truth of the reports. They encountered 
plenty of people "flying before a fancied foe," but no Indians. 
At Sinz's tavern in the town of Rhine were found "hundreds 
of women and children, with three or four men." At 
Flagg's tavern twelve miles north of Plymouth, two hun- 
dred men had assembled under the leadership of the Honor- 
able Julius Wolf, "who, armed cap-a-pie with the uniform 
of Prussia, a la Kaiser Wilhelm, with gun, sword, bayonet, 
pistols, was an object well calculated not only to strike terror 
to the savage heart but also to restore confidence to the 
most timid and to cure dyspepsia in its worst form." But 
as usual no one could be found who had himself seen an 

The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 


Indian, and the scouting party returned, "satisfied that 
there was not a redskin enemy between Plymouth and Lake 

The excitement over, the absurdities of the situation 
began to receive attention. One man took the pork out of 
his barrels and buried it in the cellar. Another, who had a 
cask of currant wine, called in his neighbors to help him 
drink it up, "determined that the savages should not get 
drunk through any fault of his." A woman ran three miles 
to town with a pumpkin pie in her hand. Another woman 
turned her pigs into the garden, reasoning that the vege- 
tables would benefit her no longer and the animals might 
enjoy one good meal before the redskins arrived. One 
family scattered its furniture over a ''ten acre lot," hoping 
thereby to save at least some of it. 

The panic at Sheboygan began as at Plymouth when on 
September 3 a frantic horseman dashed into town with the 
usual tale of Indian horrors. Fifty red devils were burn- 
ing Centerville, twelve miles north and every man who 
could carry a gun or a pitchfork was frantically desired to 
rush to the rescue. Soon another courier arrived with the 
report that three hundred Indians were sacking Herman; 
while a third brought word that five hundred were ad- 
vancing on Sheboygan itself. Close on the heels of the 
couriers came a rush of fugitives, and the town was thrown 
into an uproar. By nightfall it was estimated that the 
number of fugitives in town was upwards of four thousand. 
A single drawbridge spanned the river, and this the prudent 
city fathers had taken up to prevent the Indians entering 
the town. It likewise cut off from their haven of refuge 
the remainder of the stream of fugitives who were still 
pouring in.^o With greater rationality, perhaps, the authori- 

A really artistic narration of the scare at Sheboygan is given in the Ktcrgrrrn CHy 
Times of Sept. 6 under the heading "The Gunpowder Plot." It humorously represents 
the entire affair as devised by a "powder huckster" to create a market for a stock of 
unsalable powder which he had on his hands. 

'"The drawbridge story is given by Mrs. Smith in her narrative of the scare at 
Plymouth. It is also affirmed by Frances Meyer, assistant librarian of Sheboygan fetter 


M, M. Quaife 

ties sent out messengers to Centerville to report upon the 
situation there. By evening they returned with the com- 
forting information that no trace of Indians or of Indian 
depredations could be discovered. 

All Ozaukee was gripped by the panic, and Port Wash- 
ington, Waukesha, and even Milwaukee became the rendez- 
vous of streams of terror-stricken fugitives. To Governor 
Salomon, who chanced to be in Milwaukee, came appeals for 
help from Richfield, Waukesha, and other points. A com- 
pany of Milwaukee militia took the field in response to the 
report of the burning of Cedarburg, but its campaign into 
Ozaukee County proved wholly bloodless. The northward 
advance of the soldiers was rendered difficult by the stream 
of vehicles encountered, all heading for Milwaukee. A 
resident of Wauwatosa, about five or six miles out of the 
city on the Lisbon plank road, reported that three or four 
hundred teams passed during the afternoon and night of the 
fourth. 22 night long the vehicles went by in the mud 
and rain, following one another so closely that the stoppage 
of one quickly blocked the road in the rear. The corres- 
pondent sought to stop some of the fugitives, but in vain. 
But one man, he reported, had seen any Indians; he claimed 
to have seen three or four thousand, but refused to pause 
long enough to answer any further questions. 

To recount further details of the flight of the settlers to 
Milwaukee would be but to repeat the stories already told 
of the scenes enacted in other places. "The human family 
is at times ridiculous or frightened or desperate or foolish or 
cowardly," observes one historian of Milwaukee, *'but never 
until the Indian scare of 1862 were the dwellers of Milwau- 
kee and Wisconsin possessed of all five of these attributes 
at once." To one who, like the present writer, has gone 

of Jan. 10, 1918) on the authority of her grandfather, still living, who was night watchman 
at Sheboygan at the time of the panic. 

2^ Dispatches from Sheboygan in the Milwaukee Daily Wisconsin, Sept. 5, 1862. 

32 Milwaukee Daily Wisconsin, Sept. 5, 1862. 

The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 


through, in the newspapers of the time and elsewhere, the 
mass of evidence concerning the panic of 1862 in Wisconsin 
this caustic comment seems to err, if at all, in the direction 
of understatement.^^ 

33 1 am indebted to Mr. Frederick Merk of Harvard University for placing at my 
disposal much of the data on which this article is based. Mr. Merk had himself intended 
to make the study but unforeseen exigencies prevented him from carrying out the project. 


W. A. Titus 


Yet haply all around lie strewed 

The ashes of that multitude; 

It may be that each day we tread 

Where thus devoted hearts have bled. — Hemans. 

After the skirmish at Wisconsin Heights, Black Hawk 
found it necessary to lead his followers through the un- 
broken wilderness from the west bank of the Wisconsin to 
the Mississippi, a region as little known to white men at 
that time as is the interior of Brazil today. The chieftain 
knew that he could not afford to lose any time in reaching 
the Mississippi. The Indians were without food, and the 
troops were as illy equipped for the pursuit. The latter 
accordingly left the trail for a time and marched southward 
to the post at Blue Mounds for a supply of provisions. It 
was not until July 28 that the pursuing army, now fully 
equipped and provisioned, crossed the Wisconsin on rafts 
at Helena where the old shot tower was being built. The 
troops pushed north about five miles through the wilderness 
where the trail of the fugitives was picked up. It led al- 
most due west, and, although a week old, it was not difficult 
to follow. The course led over steep hills and oozy marshes, 
with tangled thickets and swiftly flowing streams to make 
progress more difficult; but there were many evidences 
that the savages were becoming travel-worn and losing 
time, and, therefore, the soldiers were urged to greater 
effort. Many dead savages were found beside the long 
trail, some of whom had died from wounds received at 
Wisconsin Heights, while others had succumbed to fatigue 
and starvation. Each hour brought the troops nearer to 
the enemy, as the soldiers were well mounted, while many 


Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


of the Indians were on foot. This delayed the whole band 
of natives as the laggards could not be abandoned to certain 
death and mutilation at the hands of the whites. 

On August 1 Black Hawk and his followers reached the 
Mississippi at a point several miles below the mouth of the 
Bad Axe River; the troops did not arrive until the next day. 
This would have given the Sauk band plenty of time to 
cross to the west side in safety but for two fatal incidents. 
There were only a few canoes available, which necessarily 
made the crossing slow. A hastily constructed raft was 
loaded with women and children and started on its way to 
the west bank, but for some reason it went to pieces, and 
nearly all of its occupants were drowned. The second 
misfortune was even more tragic. About three o'clock in 
the afternoon of the same day, while the Sauk warriors 
were gathered near the shore to await the return of the 
canoes that were so slowly carrying the party across the 
river, the government steamer Warrior appeared and ran 
in close to the east bank. Black Hawk stepped forward 
and held up a white flag, shouting, as he did so, that his 
followers wished to surrender. By a misunderstanding or 
a willful ignoring of the signal three rounds of cannister 
were fired from the vessel directly into the group of Indians. 
This was followed by a heavy rifle fire from both sides; but 
the slaughter of the Sauk, bunched together on the shore 
and without any cover, was easy work for the twenty-one 
soldiers on board the steamer. Twenty-seven warriors 
were killed in this skirmish on the river bank. The Warrior 
ran out of fuel and was forced to withdraw to Prairie du 
Chien, forty miles below, to take on a supply of wood. 

During the night more of the Sauk escaped across the 
river into Iowa; but Black Hawk saw that the greater 
number were doomed to death or captivity because the 
Indian runners reported that the pursuing army had 
arrived within a few miles of the river. He accordingly 


W. A. Titus 

formed his battle lines for the morrow and gave his followers 
close directions as to the best method for meeting the attack 
of the troops. Then with White Cloud, the Prophet, and a 
few personal attendants the old chief turned again into 
the wilderness and headed eastward for the Dalles of the 
Wisconsin near the mouth of the Lemonweir River, where 
some of the Winnebago had offered to hide him from the 
government agents. 

The land troops arrived under cover of darkness. In 
the morning the order was given to attack the savages. 
Black Hawk had arranged a decoy party which, when 
attacked, retreated up the river with the hope of drawing 
the troops away from the main body of warriors. This 
scheme almost succeeded rs most of the troops, including 
the regulars, followed the decoy party upstream; but a 
detachment of the volunteers discovered the larger group of 
the Sauk, which still consisted of about three hundred 
warriors, and attacked immediately with rifle and bayonet. 
The firing was heard by the troops to the north, who 
immediately rejoined the volunteers. The Indians fought 
with primal ferocity; but resistance was hopeless as the 
troops had all the advantage of position, and the affair 
was a slaughter rather than a battle. Few prisoners were 
taken and these were mostly women and children. The 
savagery of the border was exhibited in its worst form by 
both sides. About three hundred of the raiders had escaped 
across the Mississippi during the two days, but the military 
authorities had arranged with Wabasha, a Sioux chief, to 
massacre these as soon as they reached the Iowa side; and 
so faithfully did he execute this merciless order that no 
more than one hundred and fifty of the thousand who 
followed Black Hawk from the lower Rock River four 
months before ever escaped to tell the story of their long 
raid. The Bad Axe region has become famous in the 
history of savage warfare in Wisconsin. It was the scene 
of a skirmish with the Winnebago during their uprising in 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


1827, and it marked the close in 1832 of Indian troubles 
n Wisconsin. The little railroad station where occurred 
:hese stirring events in frontier history is called Victory, 
:he very name suggestive of the finality of the struggle 
)etween the red man and the aggressive Anglo-Saxon. 

It was mentioned that about one hundred Sauk non- 
combatants floated down the Wisconsin in rafts and canoes 
Tom Wisconsin Heights with the hope of escaping across 
;he Mississippi at Prairie du Chien. These helpless crea- 
tures were met a few miles above the "Prairie" by a military 
orce, and all were destroyed except possibly a dozen who 
escaped into the forest. 

Black Hawk, after his flight from the ill-fated field of 
:he Bad Axe, made good his escape to the rocky cliffs of the 
!iemonweir valley; but the Winnebago, who had deceived 
irst one side and then the other, offered, for a reward, to 
eveal his hiding place to the white pursuers, and the old 
varrior was soon taken prisoner near the Dalles of the 
^Visconsin, a short distance north of the site of modern 
^Cilbourn City. He was delivered to the United States 
luthorities at Prairie du Chien and thence taken to Jefferson 
Barracks, and later confined in Fortress Monroe. After a 
)rief term of imprisonment he was liberated and died at his 
lome in southeastern Iowa in 1838. 

The Black Hawk War was notable for the number of 
nen engaged in it who later became national figures. 
Vbraham Lincoln served with the Illinois volunteers, while 
5achary Taylor and Jeft'erson Davis were officers in the 
•egular army and took part in the conflict. Winfield Scott, 
ater the hero of the Mexican War, was sent to join the 
orces in Wisconsin, but he did not arrive at Prairie du Chien 
mtil after the Battle of the Bad Axe. Of these four men 
kvho saw service on Wisconsin soil, two were destined to 
)ecome presidents of the United States, one to be an un- 
mccessful candidate for the same high office, and one to 
become president of the southern Confederacy. 


Joseph Schafer 

A friend once remarked that the Ubrary of the Wisconsin 
Historical Society was an "historian's heaven." If the 
intention was to describe it as a very dehghtf ul place for the 
historian to work in, one must give his unconditional ap- 
proval. But if the word ''heaven" herein was clothed with 
its customary meaning of a place or condition altogether 
satisfying, the verdict must be reversed. 

One does not require much experience with even so mag- 
nificent and relatively complete a collection as the one 
which is housed in the State Historical Library to convince 
himself that history cannot be fully written from existing 
collections. This is especially true of one who conceives of 
history as I conceive of the history of Wisconsin — as the 
story of civilization-building in this commonwealth down 
to practically our own day. It would be quite possible, no 
doubt, to write the history of the French regime, the history 
of the British regime, and numerous episodes of later history 
without leaving Madison. But when we come to the period 
of American pioneering in Wisconsin, to the development 
of our far-famed agricultural and dairy interest, our indus- 
tries great and small, and our social history based on the 
blending of several strong race elements, each possessed 
of its distinctive culture, the case is altogether different. 

Thanks to the statesmanlike planning of our predecessors 
and the liberal support of state legislatures, the library 
already contains vast stores of documents, books, pamph- 
lets, maps, and manuscripts illustrating phases of the com- 
plex historical process that has made Wisconsin what she is. 
But for a true and adequate interpretation of each one of 

^ Notes for an address delivered at the meeting of^the^Waukesha County Historical 
Society, North Prairie, Sept. 18, 1920. 

Co-operaiin Between State and Local Societies 201 

the major lines of development we shall require an indefi- 
nite expansion of existing sources. 


Without attempting even to suggest the wide range of 
material required for the definitive treatment of the history 
of agriculture in Wisconsin, or the history of lumbering, or 
textiles manufactures, or iron manufactures, or education, 
or science, or religion, or morals, or the fine arts, or music — 
all of which, and a hundred others, make the warp that 
unites with the woof of our complex human nature to 
produce the fabric of civilization in this state — it may 
suffice to point out that a prerequisite of such a complete 
history is a considerable group of local studies of a very 
intensive character. 

The geologist, intent on understanding the formation 
of the earth's crust in a given region, does not content 
himself with traveling over the region or with reading 
descriptions of surface conformations in various parts. 
Such a superficial view would tell him something, but not 
enough. In addition he wants the data that can be supplied 
only by a number of minute investigations into the char- 
acter of the crust at different points. So he goes to places 
where there are borings for salt or for oil, or excavations 
for bridge piers; where the flood waters have eroded deep 
trenches, exposing the strata to a considerable depth; 
where the action of glaciers has cut down sections of hills, 
leaving steep cliffs exposed; where the ocean tides or the 
water and the ice of inland lakes have written giant pages 
on crag and headland for the scientific student to read. 
After a sufficient number of such intensive studies he 
co-ordinates his data into an orderly account and interpreta- 
tion of the region. 

The historian may well take to heart the lesson which 
scientific research, in so many directions, enforces and 


Joseph Schafer 

reiterates. It has been charged against history that it is 
not firmly enough attached to reaHty, and in a certain sense 
the charge is true. Too many historical writers have been 
content to employ merely accessible material, shaping their 
stories to fit the data instead of finding the data that would 
enable them to tell their stories as they ought ideally to be 

If there is excuse for such deficiencies in the fact that 
the resources of private workers are often inadequate to the 
requirements of a rigorous historical method, such an excuse 
cannot be admitted in the case of work in which we have the 
support of the state and the co-operation of all historical 
elements and organizations of the state. Like the State 
Geological Survey, which was so brilliantly conceived and 
carried out by scientists like Chamberlin, Lapham, Strong, 
Irving, and others, the "Historical Survey" of Wisconsin 
must be as scientific as the nature of historical research 
permits. And one of the obviously scientific methods of 
assembling concrete data to serve the purposes of interpre- 
tation is to go to typical localities and study their history 
with the minuteness that becomes possible only when — to 
use a figure from science — the object you are studying is 
small enough to enable you to use the microscope. 

Take, for illustration, the history of an organized "town," 
the civic society comprised in a surveyor's "township." 
Within certain limits the life of such a town is typical of the 
life of the commonwealth, or even of the nation. The men 
and women who made homes in its river valleys, prairies, 
or "oak openings" are likely to be genuine "specimens" 
from the universal social amalgam; the farms, mills, work- 
shops, churches, schools, and stores would be typical of such 
institutions in a thousand American neighborhoods. And 
if this is true in the pioneer stage it is not less true in later 
stages, so that the conditions of change as worked out on 

Co-operation Between State and Local Societies 203 

the local plane will be applicable to more general history as 

Such local communities differ from one another, due to a 
considerable range and variety of economic and social 
influences. But, if a number of them taken indifferently 
from the several counties and sections of the state were 
studied intensively, the resulting material would serve to 
illuminate the entire course of Wisconsin history. How, 
then, shall we proceed in the study of a town.? 


After mastering the topography of the area, and its 
physical relations, which determine or influence the com- 
munity's economic and commercial history, the next step 
is to acquire some real knowledge of the people who settled 
the town. This can be done by the use of various sources. 
One (and the most obvious, which also happens to be the 
least satisfactory) is to rely wholly on the statement of some 
aged person whose memory is supposed to reach to the 
social beginnings in that neighborhood. Another method 
is to consult town records, school records, church records, 
lodge records, and various local mercantile records as well 
as local newspapers, if there were any, for information 
about the first settlers, dates of their arrival, etc. This 
method is a good one but so laborious that few would have 
the time or the patience to employ it exclusively. It is a 
desirable collateral method. 

A method which is being fostered by the State Historical 
Society is one which begins with a township plat showing 
all the land grants, with names of private grantees, and 
dates of grants. The making of such plats is not a single 
or simple process, but involves several subsidiary processes 
as follows: First, a transfer to the township map, copied 
from the surveyor's map, of the data preserved in the tract 
books of the United States Land Oflice; second, the transfer 
to the map of similar data from the tract books of the State 


Joseph Schafer 

Land Office; third, transfer to the margins of the resulting 
plat of data from the surveyor's notebook descriptive of 
quality of land, kinds of timber, trails, etc., seen by him 
in making the original survey. 

As a starting point for the study of population this plat of 
original private grantees of the land has several advantages. 
It fixes two points concerning every land purchaser who was 
also a settler: the place of his settlement in the township, 
and the date of his purchase. It does not fix the date of 
settlement, though that is approximated in most cases. 

In the work of securing such plats we think the State 
Historical Society can function with advantage. All of 
the work of preparing the originals, except making the town- 
ship map and transferring the data from the United States 
Land Office tract books to the map, is performed by our 
force. When completed, the original plat is photostated, 
and thereafter reproductions can be furnished at a merely 
nominal price, whereas if an individual were preparing a 
plat, the expense in money and time would be considerable. 

However, the plat of original grantees of the land is not 
our final objective. The heart of our plan for the Wisconsin 
Domesday Book has been expressed in the words: "The 
opening of every farm in the American wilderness is an 
original creative process significant enough to deserve a line 
in the general history of civilization." It is the "makers 
of the farms" we wish to identify. Here local studies are 
required, as I have shown in my article on the Wisconsin 
Domesday BookJ^ 

After identifying the actual settlers and locating them 
on definite subdivisions of numbered sections of land, there 
remain two preliminary inquiries both of which must per- 
force be carried on locally: (a) The physical character of 
the land as respects soil, conformation, ease of cultivation, 
and opportunity to communicate with markets, (b) The 

2 Wisconsin Magazine of History, IV, 1, Sept. 1920. 

Co-operation Between State and Local Societies 205 

settlers, their social and geographical origins, training, 
experience, special intellectual, social, or occupational 
aptitudes, and outstanding ambitions — with any other 
data about them that may be procurable. 


In the quest for information on the first head, the notes 
of the surveyors, inscribed on the margin of the plat, will 
serve as a starting point. And the geological surveys of the 
state will be a supplementary resource. Still, a minute 
Familiarity with the township from actual observation of 
all its farms, or at least of typical farming areas, is necessary 
to a successful study of the agricultural and social history of 
the town. 

A good deal of help can be derived from the census tak- 
ers' descriptions of farms, which reveal the relation of 
cultivated to uncultivated and woodland, also the amounts 
per acre of the several crops raised. Still, this yields only 
more or less definite inferences, and inferences are not the 
same as facts. 

The census schedules also make a starting point in the 
study of social origins. They list the inhabitants by name, 
and give age, occupation, and state or country of nativity. 
Thus we know, from the census of 1860, that Isaac A. Sabin, 
twenty-five years of age, was a school-teacher and was born 
in New York. Further entries show us that his wife also 
was a New Yorker and that they had a daughter one year 
old who was born in Wisconsin. We want to know more 
about this school-teacher's origin, whether or not lie was a 
New Englander and, if so, what formal training he had and 
at what schools. We want evidence concerning his experi- 
ence as a teacher, his character and influence as a man in 
the communities he served. Such knowledge local research 
alone will yield. Pursuing it, we find that he was probably 
^f Connecticut parentage, that he was well-educated — far 
beyond the average district school-teacher — that he was a 


Joseph Schafer 

man of strong character and personality which he impressec 
upon his pupils. Thus, he was a genuine force in the socia' 
development of the neighborhood in which he taught a pion- 
eer school in a rude log schoolhouse. 


If local societies will set themselves systematically to th( 
problem of garnering such material for the social history oi 
their communities, they will perform invaluable service 
and will make possible the intensive local studies of whicl 
we stand in need. The State Historical Society can supply 
basic helps for carrying out such programs in the way oi 
census schedule transcripts for the different towns oi 
counties, and other data collected at its library. To do this 
on a large scale would call for a considerable enlargement 
of its clerical force, but such enlargement is contemplated 
in the plans for utilizing the Burrows Fund income in pre- 
paring the Domesday Book, The county records and town 
records, the school records and church records, the cemetery 
records, and a variety of commercial records will be avail- 
able locally as special documentary resources. 

If we conceive the proposed "social-origins survey" 
under the form of a card index of first settlers, or of settlers 
who lived in the county (or other area) prior to a fixed date, 
the procedure would be about as follows: (a) The local 
society should select from its membership those who have 
a special interest in tracing social origins, and permit each 
one of these to cover in his or her study such areas as may be 
preferred. Cards of uniform size and form for filing should 
be furnished to all workers, together with a minimum 
schedule of points to be covered in the inquiry, (b) The 
results might be presented in the form of reports to the 
society from time to time and, in any event, should be filed 
at a central place. Copies of local files might be made for 
the State Historical Society, which would thus become a 
clearing house, helpful to inquirers in all parts of the state. 

Co-operation Between State and Local Societies 207 

There are men and women who have a deep interest in 
the study of social origins, an enticing subject in itself. One 
man known to the writer, working on the subject from pure 
love of it, is even now familiar with the stories of hundreds 
of pioneers of his county. This is but a single illustration. 
Such knowledge ought to be recorded and carefully pre- 
served. It could be done best by local societies, but it will 
have to be done by some agency if our study of Wisconsin 
civilization is to be ideally complete. The State Historical 
Society invites conference with the local societies on this 
and other subjects of co-operative endeavor. 


Either the persons who make the local social and physical 
surveys, or others, will employ the facts brought out by 
these surveys in pushing forward the study of local history. 
For practical purposes the history of a township in its 
development from pioneer days may be looked upon as a 
complex involving many special histories — and each of 
those special histories deserves separate treatment. It 
might be well if some writers would specialize on the history 
of agriculture in given townships, others on the history of 
manufactures, others on the history of education, others 
on the history of morals, and still others on the history of 
local politics, public improvements, religious organizations, 
etc. The advantage, we repeat, in studying general histori- 
cal themes under local conditions is that in this way we are 
placing the historical process, in small sections, under the 
microscope and compelling it to yield up secrets not hitherto 
revealed. The local community becomes at the same time 
a laboratory for testing the validity of social principles and 
hypotheses not definitely established. The more complete 
one's training for historical research, the more perfect liis 
equipment for the study of the "Great Society," the more 
ample should be his reward from the local study suggested. 



Chauncey H. Cooke 

Camp Randall, Madison, Wis. 
Co. G. 25th Wis. Vol. Inft. 
Dec. 16, 1862. 

Dear Parents : After just one week of varying incident from 
the time of leaving my old dear home I am seated to write to you. 
We did not find our regiment at Winona as we expected, they had 
gone to La Crosse. There were 27 of us in the crowd so we hired 
three liveries and drove all night and reached La Crosse at 6 
o'clock in the morning. We nearly swamped in the Black river 
crossing McGilvery's ferry the ice was running so, but we got 
over all right. We stayed in La Crosse one night and came 
on to Madison the next night. The people of La Cro&se were good 
to us, they gave us a fine dinner in the biggest hall in town but 
mother it did not taste half as good as the last one you gave me of 
bear meat and venison and hot biscuit and honey. It may be I 
did not do right when I sneaked out of the house and got Billy 
and rode away without saying good bye, but I couldn't help it. 
I knew it hurt you to say good-bye and that's why I did it. 

Well, we are in Madison, the Capital of the state. How long 
we are to stay nobody knows. They say we need drilling and 
must get more disciplined before we go to the front. Well I 
hope we won't stay here long. These barracks are awful cold, and 
my bunk is on the top tier, next to the shingles — too hot in the 
evening — cold in the morning. I am wearing father's moccasins 
yet. I didn't get time to buy me boots in La Crosse or Winona. 

Tell father to use my money and buy him some more. We 
are to be paid soon and I will send you some money. You need 
not lay it up as you did before but use it, and don't think of me, 

^ The first installment of these war time letters, together with a brief historical intro- 
duction concerning them and their author, was printed in the September, 1920 issue of 
this magazine. 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


I am all right. I never want to see father wear patches again. 
I don't believe this war is for long. I expect to be home next 
year to help with the work. Maybe not, but we'll see. 

I forgot to tell you that we came in the cars to Madison from 
La Crosse. It was a new experience to me, I was wide awake the 
whole way. I was afraid we were off the track every time we 
crossed a switch or came to a river. At the towns, girls swarmed 
on the platforms to ask the boys for their pictures and to kiss 
the best looking ones. A young Frenchman, we called him the 
pony of the regiment because he was so small and quick, got the 
most kisses. He was so short the boys held him by the legs so 
he could reach down out the windows to kiss the girls. Many 
times some old fellow held the girls up so she could be reached. 
It was fun anyway. 

I never think but I am all right, except when I try to double 
quick for a half hour or so. My wind gives out. Lieutenant Parr 
says, "Your measles stay with you yet." "Warm weather," 
he says, "will fix you all right." Love to all. 

Your son, 


Madison, Wis., Dec. 25th, 1862, 
Co. G., 25th Regt. 
Dear Mother: You see my paper don't have the regulation 
picture on it of Soldiers in file or in battle array. I am tired of 
such flummery. The meaning of the whole thing is to make 
money for the inventor and not for the soldier. We are told 
that the life of the Nation is at stake, and every fellow that 
enlists offers himself as a martyr to save his country. I was 
thinking these things over last, about 2 p. m. in the morning 
when I was nearly froze and the relief guard came round and I 
was off duty to go to my tent and get some sleep. It seems like 
foolery to the common soldier that for two hours we must stand 
in a temperature of 30 or 40 degrees when we are a thousand 
miles from the enemy. I had to walk and walk to keep from 
freezing. The mercury was down near 40 below zero and the 
guard house where we sat down between reliefs or lay down 
was little better than out doors. The healtli of our Rogiiiient 
is none too good. One man dies on an average every day. As I 



write this letter the drum is beating. The food we get is to 
blame for our bad health. The boys threaten a riot every day 
for the bad beef and spoilt bread issued to us and all this in our 
home state of Wisconsin. I went to meeting yesterday both 
morning and evening. In the morning at the Baptist, in the 
evening at the Episcopal church. The preacher discussed the 
state of the Union. I thot he talked a bit like a traitor. He was 
sorry the states should go to war over the question of slavery. 
He hoped the Union would be preserved and he thot Uncle Tom's 
Cabin was much to blame for the war. Capt. Dorwin said the 
preacher ought to live in South Carolina. There is talk that we 
will get pay tomorrow. I have sent a record of our company 
home. Hope you got it. I shall send you a lot of clothing just 
before we leave. Remember me to Uncle Edward Cartwright. 
It was kind of him to ask so often about me. I wonder where 
Ez and Ed are. They don't say a word. You remember they 
went in the 2nd Cavalry. 

I am glad father had such good luck getting deer this fall, you 
will have lots of venison this winter. It is too bad the Elk are all 
gone or killed off. I know father is sorry. He blamed the Sioux 
Indians for scaring his game but the St. Louis hunters and the 
Farringtons of Mondovi have spoiled his hunting more than the 
Indians. I hope he will stop hunting bears alone. Its a dangerous 
business. Old Prince is a dear good dog but a bear is too much for 
him at close quarters. Is his jaw all right again .f^ Every letter I 
get from home I expect to hear of Jenny's death. She is bound to 
rub her red blanket off in the brush and the first hunter that sees 
her will shoot her for a wild deer. I wonder what Claflfin's people 
tho't when she ran in their bedroom and laid down to get away 
from the dogs. 

Poor thing eight miles from home with no friend near, raced by 
dogs until her tongue hung out, and to save her life rushed into 
the open door of the Claffin home. Poor Jenny Deerw With four 
bullet marks on her legs and body and one thru her red blanket, 
and the damned dogs racing her for life. Poor thing. Poor thing. 
I can't help it, but these things make me homesick. 
I'm ashamed of myself, Dear Mother, Good Bye. 

From your son 


The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


Madison, Wisconsin, Jan. 6th, 1863. 
Hd. Quarters 25th Regt., Wis. 

Dear Sister: I am sure you would smile if you could get a 
view of Co. G. as I can see them from where I sit. You would say, 
"What a writing school." I can count more than 40 of the boys 
writing letters to their mothers or their girls. Mostly to their 
girls. Its easy to tell, if a fellow is writing to his mother he don't 
squirm and cover his paper when some guy looks over his shoul- 
der. There is a lot of such teasing. The only way is to get away 
up in the top bunks out of reach and hold their portfolios on their 
laps for a desk. I came off guard this morning after the coldest 
night of the winter. My beat was long side the railroad track on a 
high bank where the wind cut me from all sides. I set my gun 
down and run back and forth to keep from freezing my toes. 
The snow sifted in the path and kept it soft and mealy. The 
Legislature had some extra work at the capitol last night. I 
could see the light at the top of the dome until after midnight. 

No pay yet though they keep promising it. Went to the Epis- 
copal church last Sunday. Say, don't they put on style though .^^ 
I compared them in my mind to our little bunch in that two by 
four schoolhouse in Gilmanton. The preacher came out in a 
black dress and talked about things I couldn't understand, but 
the music was nice when I came away. If I was any better in 
heart, it was because of the music and not for anything the 
preacher said. A lot of the boys celebrated Christmas and New 
Year to their sorrow. Some of them were put in jail up town and 
two of them are there yet. Nearly every other house between here 
and the Capitol sells beer and by the time the lovers of grog get 
into town they are full to running over with *'When Johnny comes 
marching home." There was close to a mutiny of the two regi- 
ments here the other day because so many of the boys had been 
arrested and jailed in the city. The 30th. regiment and several 
companies of the 25th came out without officers, formed in ranks 
swearing they would go up and storm the city of Madison, if neces- 
sary, and release their comrades in jail. Feeling ran so liigh that I 
took my place in the ranks without much heart in it to toll the 
truth. I was glad when our officers came around and explained 



that we were mutineers and in violation of the rules of war and 
that we should disband. 

I had no pity in my heart for the fellows in jail and I was glad 
for an excuse to sneak back to headquarters. We have some 
good fellows in our company who are devils when they are in 
drink. And we have about four who are devils drunk or sober. 
While I am writing these, the boys are singing Dixie in a great 
chorus. This awful weather makes us hanker for the warmer 
south and, since there is no hope of home. All seems quiet on the 

I see by the papers that the churches are urged to pray for the 
end of the war. They have had several spells at this and the bat- 
tles have been harder and the slaughter greater. The churches 
south have been doing the same thing. It would seem that God 
ought to pity the slave and help our side, but will he.^^ I know 
what father would say. He would quote Napoleon, who said, 
"Put your trust in well drilled troops and keep your powder dry." 
I remember the last time I heard him say this, when Elder Morse 
was visiting us and they were talking about the wickedness of 
slavery about which they both agreed. Father disputed the 
Elder's opinion that God presided over the movements and 
affairs of earth. He cited slavery and the wicked wars of the 
earth and the crimes of the liquor traffic as being inconsistent 
with the character of a just God. Elder Morse agreed with father 
this far, that they were not in harmony with the Divine plan, but 
were tolerated for some reason not given to man to know. 

Have father tell Elder Morse, I thank him for his kind words. 
His son Henry is about and able to eat his rations every day. I 
hope you wont sell your land as you talk of doing. I got a letter 

from G the other day and answered it. He thinks McClel- 

lan is a traitor. Lots of us think the same. Our Captain is a 
wise man and he says McClellan has been waiting and waiting 
when he should have been marching and fighting. I am awful 
sorry that Freemont was set down on by Lincoln. I am with 
Freemont as many of the boys are. I have no heart in this war 
if the slaves cannot go free. Freemont wanted to set them free as 
fast as we came to them. I am disappointed in Lincoln. I re- 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


member a talk father had with Uncle Ed. Cartwright, who was 
blaming the war on the Abolitionists. It made father mad and 
he talked back pretty hot. He said I have a boy who wants to go 
to the war and I would give his life as cheerfully as Abraham 
offered his son if necessary that the slaves might be freed. Father 
meant all right though it seemed hard, but I love him all the more 
for it, although I suppose I am the boy he meant for the sacrifice. 
We are all anxious to go south, though none of us that I know are 
anxious to get shot for any cause. Direct as before to Camp 
Randall. Love to all, mother, father and brothers. 

Your brother, 


Camp Randall, Madison, Wis. 
Hd. Quarters 25 Regt. Wis. Vol. Infty. 

Dear mother: 

This is a fine morning and the 29th. of January, 1863. How 
the time flies. Your last letter came day before yesterday. I 
am awfully glad father had such good luck killing deer. You 
will have plenty of good meat for the winter. You wish I could 
have a taste along with you. You bet I do too, but it can't be, 
so we must not think of it. We came close to a row with the 30th 
regiment yesterday. The Colonel in command of a squad came 
down to put some of our boys in the guard house. The word 
spread like wild fire and a rush was made for the barracks where 
the boys were taken, and it took but a minute to get them from 
the 30th men and the 30th Colonel was glad to get back to his 
regiment. The boys are threatening revolt against the commis- 
sary. Our meat and bread is a fright and a big share of the men 
in both regiments are ripe for mischief. I get a lunch nearly 
every day at a little grocery just outside the fence. I get a glass 
of cider, a handful of crackers and a nice piece of Swiss cheese for 
ten cents. They are Swiss Germans that run the grocery and the 
girl that clerks has the blackest hair and eyes I ever saw. She 
has been in this country three years and talks very good English. 
She has a brother in the Swiss army and when she brags the 
Swiss soldiers and how much nicer they are than we Yankees, 
she shows the prettiest white teeth as she smiles. 



There is a rumor that we are to be paid soon, anyway before 
we go South. Rumor is such a liar we don't know what to beheve. 
It is quite sure we will be assigned to the Southwest somewhere. 
Perhaps to Vicksburg, where the rebs are making a grand stand, 
perhaps to post duty on some of the river points. Some of the 
boys pretend they would like to smell gun powder on the battle 
line before the war ends. I suppose they feel that way. I am 
learning some things. I find that men who talk the most are not 
always the bravest. 

The news from Washington is bad. McClellan with his big 
army has gone into winter quarters instead of making an aggres- 
sive campaign toward Richmond. Gen. McClernand is doing far 
more good work than all the rest. Some of the boys are dreaming 
of home and a good time pretty soon, but the Richmond papers 
talk like the south was just beginning to wake up. Lots of poor 
fellows will bite the dust before the end yet. 

Friday Jan. 30th. I took a run this morning up to the Adju- 
tant's office and back, to try my wind. It is quite a distance 
from our barrack. I believe I am getting my legs and wind back, 
and I am awfully glad. Some of the poor fellows who were sick 
with me in St. Cloud, Minn,, with measles, are losing ground. 
Orlando Adams of Mondovi says he has no wind any more. 
Nathan Mann says he has no vim any more and can't stand the 
drill exercises. 

Lots of the boys are blue as whetstones. They say if they were 
only out of it, the Union might go to blazes. If they would take 
us where the traitors are, and give us a chance to fight, we would 
feel that we were doing something. But this dreadful sameness 
is wearing. 

February 2nd. Dear mother: Your latest letter came this 
morning. I hope you wont delay writing because news is scarce. 
Anything from home is news if it is in your hand writing and only 
about the dog or cat. No, I don't suppose we get the war news 
earlier than you do. I thank you for sending the paper of tea, 
altho you remember I don't love it especially. But I am sure 
this will be good coming from the best of mothers. I will drink 
it in memory of you and home. I have read somewhere that 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


mothers were the best beings in the world and now I know it to be 
true. I trust I may live to come home and prove it to you. You 
think our officers should see that our bread and meat is good. My 
dear mother they dont have a word to say about it. It's in the 
hands of the contractors. Dont worry, we will live thru it, and if 
southern bullets don't get us, we will tell you all about it when we 
come home. So Henry Amidon is married. Well, well, Henry is a 
good boy and I hope he has made no mistake in his choice. So 
the world goes. I used to think Mrs. Amidon 's doughnuts and 
milk gravy was better than ours. You don't care mother do you 
if I say this. She was a nice cook and after walking down to 
Beef river, and taking a swim with Henry, and by the time we got 
back to his home for a late dinner, things tasted mighty good. 

I was just a bit of a fool two years ago next March when I 
tried to wade across the foot bridge up to my chin in ice water 
near the mill dam to visit Henry when his folks were in Vermont. 
I had to back out and when I got back to shore I was so numb that 
I ran clear down to Uncle Dan Loomis' place and back to start my 
blood circulating. I was so cold I couldn't put all my clothes on 
and ran half naked. 

I guess I've strung this letter plenty long, and part of it I 
can't read myself. I expect to catch it from father about my 
spelling as usual, well thats alright, I ought to improve as I have 
bo't me a pocket dictionary. It looks so much like a testament 
that our Chaplain came along the other day and asked me what 
chapter I was reading. Well, he said, the testament is the only 
book that is better anyway. He is a good man and wants every 
soldier to have a testament. 

Direct as before to Co. G. Camp Randall, Madison. 

Your son, Chauncey. 

Yours of recent date just received. I am glad you are knock- 
ing the split rail endways. Now we will have a good fence and 
no mistake. 

We must not put any hollow logs in for a foundation like the 
one you told of in Ohio, where one end came on tlio outside and 
the other on the inside of the field. I never think of that story of 



the old sow trying to get into the field after the farmer had turned 
both ends on the outside, without a good laugh. It seems you 
have heard that small pox is prevalent here. Don't be scared. 
There was but three or four cases and they were in the 30th Regt. 
Deaths are frequent enough but from other causes. We are losing 
a man a day on an average. The boys are buried on a hill just 
above the camp, and the roll of the muffled drum and the blank 
discharge of a dozen muskets is the solemn reminder that another 
soldier has gone to his last bivouac. Father, I begin to hate war 
and I have seen nothing of it either. There is so much contention 
among the boys so much that we hear from the Potomac, about 
treachery, of McClellan and a never ending dispute about the 
freedom of the slaves. Just now too we are having a fearful rum- 
pus about the rations. The boys are on the point of revolting 
against the government, the contractors or the state for the sour 
bread and stinking meat rationed out to us. The sickness of our 
Regt. is laid to bad food. Stuff they call coffee is made of various 

It seems an outrage to get such treatment in the Capital of 
our State. Curse upon curse is heaped upon the contractors. We 
have appealed to the members of the Legislature but they can't 
help us. After we had drawn our rations of sour bread the other 
day some three hundred of the boys marched down and stormed 
the commissary with the sour loaves as ammunition. The next 
day we got better bread but it did not last long. We hear that it is 
made out of musty crackers and soap. I don't know I'm sure. 
I got a letter just this minute and dear, I am so glad. I can see 
you all gathered about the kitchen stove. Mother has just filled 
the teakettle for morning, and father is filling the oven with kind- 
ling too wet for starting the fire in the morning and I can see myself 
cuddled up under the blankets just as mother used to leave me 
after saying good night under the open shakes with the snow 
drifting in upon me. I don't believe I am homesick, but if I 
could not recall in memory these pleasant days of my boyhood I 
am not quite sure but I should be. Tell mother I am just childish 
enough to recall that little trundle bed prayer and to repeat it in a 
whisper every night. I do it because it brings me closer to her but 
how I cannot tell. 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


We are going south pretty soon, we hear it rumored every day. 

I got a letter yesterday from Fred Rosman. He recalled the 
mes we hoed corn together in 1857. Fred and I layed great 
lans about killing chickens and sending them to Fountain City 
ad selling to the steam boats. 

What funny folks boys are anyway. We talked about a lot 
[ things. Most of our schemes have come to naught. O the 
ity, that the world don't pan out as they expected. Dora said in 
er last letter that you were not so well. Your letter makes no 
lention of illness. I hope you are all right. 

Your son, 



The Wisconsin Historical Library has long maintained a 
bureau of historical information for the benefit of those who care 
to avail themselves of the service it offers. In "The Question 
Box" will be printed from time to time such queries, with the an- 
swers made to them, as possess sufficient general interest to ren- 
der their publication worth while. 


Can you give me the date of the building of the old Roman Cathol 
Church on Madeline Island in Lake Superior? 

My reason for asking is: There is an old church, "Caroline Church, 
in Setauket, that is approaching its 200th anniversary, and it is allege 
to be the oldest church building in America. But my impression is thi 
the church on Madeline Island antedates this, as I think that church w£ 
built by the Jesuits in the time of Marquette, Hennepin, and the rest ( 

Herman Haupt Jr. 
East Setauket, Long Island 

The church building on Madeline Island is incorrectly attrifc 
uted to the Jesuit mission of Father Marquette. No trace of hi 
mission on Chequamegon Bay is known, save the letters an^ 
accounts published in the Jesuit Relations. 

The Madeline Island church was built in the early part o 
the nineteenth century by Father Frederick Baraga (later Bisho] 
Baraga), an Austrian Catholic missionary to the Indians an( 
half-breeds of the Lake Superior region. 

Can you give me any information regarding the iiame of our littl 
city, Mondovi — its origin or meaning? 

Mrs. R. Southworth 

Your request for information concerning the name Mondov 
interests us, but we are not able to solve the problem of its origin 
We are of opinion that the name was probably invented by souk 

Naming A Marathon County Farm 219 

of the earliest settlers, possibly by the first postmaster, Robert 
Nelson. The first postoffice was established in your town in 
1859 when it was called Mondori, but this was due to a misreading 
of the name. In 1860 it was called Mondovia and so remained 
until 1863 when it assumed its present form. 

Your community is not so old but what some of the early 
settlers may be yet living who could recall the origin of the name. 
If you should learn it locally, we would be glad if you would let 
us know, as we keep a record of place names in Wisconsin. 

Will you please send me information concerning the history and 
legends of Marathon County? We are going to name our farm, but as 
yet have not been able to find a suitable name, but hope we will be able 
to select one from the information you give. 

Henby Hermanson 


Marathon County was in earlier days the haunt of the Chip- 
pewa Indians. Their original home was around Lake Superior, 
but during the eighteenth century they advanced into central 
Wisconsin and took possession of the great valleys of the Wiscon- 
sin, Chippewa, and St. Croix rivers. Except for Indian traders 
the earliest white men in Marathon County were the lumbermen, 
who after the treaty of 1836 began to go in increasing numbers 
to the upper Wisconsin. The great falls were occupied as early as 

The cut-over lands were placed in market, and agricultural 
settlement began in the late fifties. It was nearly checked by 
the Civil War, but at its close began with accelerated pace, and 
during the seventies most of the public land was sold. 

Why not name your land from some of its natural features — 
for its principal trees, or its outlook, or its streams? We can 
give you the Chippewa words for the natural features, but 
usually they are less pleasant than the English words. For 
example, Ma-na-to-kik-e-we-Se-be — Stooping-Spirit River; Skan- 
a-wong-Se-be-we-shance — the creek that runs through bluffs. 
Ihe Indian word for the Eau Pleine is She-sheg-e-ma-we-she-can- 
Se-be (Soft Maple River). 

220 The Question Box 


In the June number of the Wisconsin Magazine of History , page 
473, in the article on Fort Mackinac there is the following: 

"At the time of the Civil War the fort had been ungarrisoned for 
some time. On May 20, 1862 a detachment of troops arrived there as 
escort for several prominent officials of Tennessee who had wished to 
deliver their state to the Confederates. They were detained in honor- 
able captivity for some months at Fort Mackinac." 

Kindly give me all detailed information you can about this group 
of Tennesseans: who they were, and under what circumstances, etc., 
they were carried to Fort Mackinac. 

W. A. Provine 
Editor, Tennessee Historical Magazine^ 


The Tennessee prisoners confined at Fort Mackinac in 1862 
were Gen. William G. Harding, Gen. Washington Barrows, and 
Judge Joseph C. Guild. They were Confederate sympathizers 
who had been arrested by order of Andrew Johnson, military 
governor of Tennessee. General Barrows was one of the commit- 
tee who, April 30, 1861, made an agreement with the Confederate 
government to enter into a military league. He was arrested some 
time before November 6, 1861, for on that day his application for a 
parole was denied. Joseph C. Guild, judge of the Chancery Court 
of Gallatin County, was arrested by Johnson's officers April 15, 
186£ on charge of treason, and brought to Nashville. The arrest 
of Gen. William G. Harding we have not discovered. He may 
have been one of the Municipal Council of Nashville, which after 
Johnson's taking possession of Nashville in March, 1862 refused to 
take the oath of allegiance to the federal government. Governor 
Johnson considered it dangerous to the Union cause to have these 
men in Tennessee and had them sent north. May 6, 1862 he 
made a protest to the federal authorities that the three prisoners, 
Barrows, Harding, and Guild, were being allowed to be visited by 
Confederate sympathizers. Secretary Stanton issued orders for 
their close custody, and arrangements were immediately made 
to take them to the fort at Mackinac. May 10, 1862 the steamer 
Illinois arrived at the island from Detroit, having on board the 
three distinguished Tennesseans and a company of Michigan mili- 
tia under command of Capt. Grover S. Wormer of Detroit (later 
colonel of the Eighth Michigan Cavalry and brevet brigadier 

Tennessee Prisoners at Fort Mackinac 221 

jneral of the United States volunteers). May 15 Captain Wor- 
ler wrote to his commanding officer that he had placed his 
risoners under guard in the Mission House until quarters could 
e prepared for them at the fort. Three sets of officers' quarters 
ere arranged for them. General Harding occupied the west end, 
eneral Barrows the middle set, and Judge Guild the set at the 
ist end. Captain Wormer was reinforced late in May by another 
)mpany of volunteers. 

Judge Guild later wrote his reminiscences and testified to the 
curtesy with which they were treated, saying that Captain Wor- 
ler was a gentleman and treated them as well as his orders 
ermitted. He gives an instance of his own participation in a 
>cal trial of an Indian for murder, and his captor's objection to 
is practicing law while a prisoner. The prisoners applied to have 
[leir families join them; it does not seem, however, that this 
^as permitted. 

September 10, 1862 the three Tennesseans were removed to 
ohnson's Island in Lake Erie. We have not ascertained at what 
ime they were permitted to return to their homes. You will find 
be following references of use in elucidating this subject: Edwin 
). Wood, Historic Mackinac (New York, 1918), I, 475-76; 
OS. C. Guild, Old Times in Tennessee (Nashville, 1878), 361-65; 
ylifton P. Hall, Andrew Johnson, Military Governor of Tennessee 
Princeton University Press, 1916); Appleton's Annual Cyclope- 
ia, 1862, articles "Nashville," and "Tennessee"; J. W. Fertig, 
>ecession and Reconstruction of Tennessee (Chicago University 
*ress, 1898); Official Records of the Civil War, series II, volume 3. 
'he Johnson papers in the Library of Congress must contain more 
laterial on this subject. 



I was very much interested in Miss Kellogg's report and Mr. 
Bardon's letters in the June magazine in regard to the Sioux 
Massacre of 1862. They brought very vividly to mind my own 
experience during that massacre. I am sending this, thinking it 
may possibly interest someone else. 

I went home with my aunt to spend the summer vacation of 
that year on her farm near Ottawa, Le Sueur County, Minnesota. 
The farm was on a prairie and we could see the village of Ottawa a 
long distance away. My uncle returned hurriedly from the post- 
office in that village one Monday morning and brought the dread- 
ful news. We could scarcely believe it; we thought it must be an 
exaggeration. All day long we watched and listened for we scarce- 
ly knew what, and hoped for better news. 

I never shall forget the horrors of that night. The sky was 
brilliant with firelight from the burning homes, and it required 
very little imagination to see Indians stealthily approaching. 
We were thankful that we were on a prairie. 

Tuesday morning came at last and the news was even more 
dreadful than that of the day before; the Indians were much 
nearer, and we started on our journey. We were obliged to ride 
sixty-five miles in a lumber wagon to a place where we could 
take a boat. We had hurriedly packed what we could carry on 
such a trip — my clothes, still wet, were taken from the line and 
packed in my trunk. My aunt and I sat on that trunk for that 
long ride. On our way we met load after load of men who had 
been to Fort Snelling to enlist and were going home on furloughs 
to care for their crops. We had to stop every time and tell themj 
all we knew. They could not believe what we told them, andj 
ridiculed the idea that there could be anything serious, and| 
laughed at us for being so easily frightened. We often wonderedf 
how they found their homes and families. We met one of thesef 
loads while fording a brook, and answered their questions whilej 
the horses were drinking. Suddenly I saw a brown face in the 

Recollections of the Sioux Massacre of 1862 223 

bushes near us. I grabbed my aunt's hand without speaking; 
she looked where I was looking and we both thought our time 
had come. Not knowing what to do, we simply kept still and 
watched. It proved to be a half-breed girl quite as eager for 
news as we were and in quite as much danger, for the Indians were 
killing half-breeds too. 

At night we arrived at a point where a big city was to have 
been built. The hotel was the only building of importance to be 
seen. Its empty rooms were soon filled with men, women, and 
children stretched on the bare floor or on blankets or watching for 
Indians through the dusty windows. I have forgotten the name 
of the place — it might have been St. Lawrence. It was some 
"Saint" but that is all that I distinctly remember. 

In the morning we took a small steamer on the Minnesota 
River for St. Paul where we took one of the large Mississippi 
River boats for La Crosse, and there took a train on the La 
Crosse and Milwaukee road for Milwaukee. At my home in 
Milwaukee they knew nothing of our danger until my telegram 
telling of our safety reached them. I reached Milwaukee in the 
midst of the Indian scare in Ozaukee and Waukesha counties, 
which was very real to me although only a scare. 

Julia A. Lapham, Oconomowoc 



During the three months' period ending October 10, 1920 there were 
thirty-three additions to the membership roll of the State Historical 
Society. Eleven of these enrolled as life members, as follows: William 
D. Barge, Chicago; T. C. Elliott, Walla Walla, Washington; Frederick 
V. Holman, Portland, Ore.; Ferdinand Hotz, Chicago; Paul F. Hunter, 
Madison; Eugene A. Jewett, Marshall; Elizabeth H. (Mrs. Hobart) 
Johnson, Madison; Erick H. Johnson, Frederic; Charles A. Leicht Sr., 
New Lisbon; Edmund J. Lindsay, Milwaukee; W. S. Perrigo, Beloit. 

The remaining twenty-two persons became annual members of the 
Society: Regene Beckmire, Trempealeau; Charles E. Butters, Madison; 
Richard W. Davis, Bangor; Mrs. B. Dresback, Chicago; Bert Giegerich, 
Prairie du Sac; Willis L. Gilbert, Milwaukee; Harry Goneau, Owen; 
O. E. Hagen, Caryville; H. S. Hendrickson, Rio; Clarence A. HoUister, 
Blair; Frederick M. Hyde, Clinton ville; Joseph G. Lazansky, Kewaunee; 
J. A. Macdonald, Madison; Frank B. Metcalfe, Milwaukee; Anna R. 
Moore, Cambridge; Walter Hart Perry, Wauwatosa; Rev. W. F. Rader, 
Brodhead; Dr. C. F. Rodolf, Madison; Mrs. Elizabeth Smith, Ocean 
Spring, Miss.; Randolph M. Thompson, Martell; John H. Voje, Ocono- 
mowoc; Mrs. Edith von Wald, Madison; Lieut. John C. Wade, Fort 
BUss, Texas. 

Chief Justice John B. Winslow of the Wisconsin Supreme Court 
died at his home in Madison July 13, 1920. Judge Winslow was a 
native of New York, but he grew to manhood in Racine County, and 
was educated in the public schools of the county and in Racine College. 
He manifested a marked legal aptitude and at the early age of thirty- 
two was elected judge of the first circuit. At the age of forty he became 
an associate justice of the state supreme court, which he continued to 
adorn, and most of the time to lead, for almost thirty years. Judge 
Winslow was an active friend of the State Historical Society and for 
many years prior to his death had held the office of vice president of the 

To most Americans of the present time the days of Washington and 
Adams, of General Greene and Anthony Wayne, seem as distant and 
unreal as those of Gustavus Adolphus or Sir Francis Drake. Until 
within a few weeks, however, a man walked the streets of Madison and 
went daily to his law office, whose father was an officer under Washing- 
ton and an intimate friend of General Charles Lee. William A. P. 
Morris, to whom we allude, was a veteran in still other respects than 
those connected with his Revolutionary ancestry. He was an alumnus 
of Hamilton College of sixty-six years' standing. He was a resident of 

The Society and the State 


Madison from the period of its early infancy, having located here in 1854. 
A man of culture and scholarship, he was early attracted by the work of 
Lyman C. Draper in the upbuilding of the State Historical Society which 
dates from the same year (1854) as Mr. Morris' coming to Madison. 
He became Mr. Draper's firm friend and, when he died, the executor of 
his will. As a member of the Dane County bar from 1854 (at the time 
of his death Mr. Morris had long been its oldest member), located in 
the capital city, he had known most of the lawyers and jurists of im- 
portance in the state from its infancy. He long survived most of his 
earlier contemporaries at the bar, including such men as S. U. Pinney, 
Harlow S. Orton, WiUiam F. Vilas, George B. Smith, E. W. Keyes, and 
John C. Spooner. Mr. Morris was for several decades a curator of the 
State Historical Society and for many years prior to his death chairman 
of its finance committee. No man gave more freely of his time and 
talent to the Society's service, and until the end he retained a freshness 
of vision and soundness of judgment rarely excelled in one of half his 
years. The death of Mr. Morris on September 15 removed one of the 
state's finest and most interesting characters. Taken all in all we shall 
not soon look upon his like again. 

Another veteran was removed from the business and professional 
life of Madison by the death on August 31 of Joseph W. Hobbins at the 
age of seventy-two. Mr. Hobbins was a native of England, who was 
brought in early childhood to Madison by his parents in 1852, and 
practically his whole life was passed in this place. His earlier career 
was connected with the insurance business. In 1883 he organized and 
became cashier of the Capital City Bank, and this institution, one of 
the solidest in the state, is his handiwork and monument. As cashier 
and president he served it continuously until his death. Mr. Hobbins 
was a life member and firm friend of the State Historical Society, but his 
surpassing modesty prevented him from attending its meetings or taking 
part in its deliberations. His business training and sound financial 
judgment were freely devoted to the interests of the Society in con- 
nection with the settlement of the estate of Colonel Hollister, of which, 
jointly with the superintendent of the Society, he was executor. 

The president of the Superior Historical Society, James Bardon, 
died at his daughter's home in Duluth the twentieth of July. Only a 
few days before, on the sixth of the same month, he had celebrated the 
sixty-third anniversary of his coming to make his home in Superior. 
James Bardon was born in Ireland, November 25, 1844; when a child of 
two his parents brought him to America and settled at INIaysville, 
Kentucky, removing thence in 1857 to the then now town of Superior. 
Mr. Bardon was connected with the development of his adopted homo in 
many ways. He was only eighteen when he was called out on guard 
duty during the Indian scare of 1802. One of his last enterprises was to 
secure the muster roll of the Douglas County Ctiiards kept auK^nt: tlie 
Society's records, and he proposed to the city council to institute 


Survey of Historical Activities 

"Stockade Park" within the limits of the historic stockade built at that 

Mr. Bardon was an early Superior journalist, served for a time as a 
teacher, and owned and operated a sawmill for many years. He actively 
promoted railroads and banks and served his community in many local 
offices. His enthusiasm for his adopted state and city was lasting and 
resulted in many benefits conferred by this estimable citizen. He was a 
life member of this Society and a warm supporter of its activities. His 
brother, Thomas Bardon of Ashland, writes that during the funeral 
period flags hung at half mast on the public buildings of Superior, and 
leading citizens of both that city and Duluth were honorary and active 

The Milwaukee press reported the death in that city on August 1, 
1920 of Thomas L. Kennan, the oldest attorney in active practice in 
Wisconsin. A native of New York, Mr. Kennan studied law in Ohio 
and in 1849 began its practice at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He achieved 
success in his profession and for many years served as attorney for the 
Wisconsin Central Railroad. He recruited a company for the Civil War 
and went into service as first lieutenant, having declined the captaincy 
of the company he had raised. The active professional career of Mr. 
Kennan covered practically the entire history of the state of Wisconsin. 

The Society received a visit in August from Miss Mary Reid of 
Des Moines and Mrs. Butterworth of Maquoketa, Iowa, daughters of 
Harvey Reid, whose interesting diary of life at the University of Wiscon- 
sin in the spring of 1861 was published in the issue of this magazine for 
September, 1917. Due to the kindness of Miss Reid, the Society has a 
mass of equally interesting Civil War letters written by her father, many 
of which it is hoped may be published at no distant date. 

Two other visitors to the Library in August were Mrs. W. M. 
Dallmeyer and Miss Katrine Dallmeyer of Jefferson City, Missouri, 
great-granddaughter and great-great-granddaughter of General Jona- 
than Ramsay of that state. Dr. Draper visited General Ramsay at his 
home in Calloway County in October, 1851 and took down his reminis- 
censes both of his father and of himself, noted pioneers and Indian 
fighters. Mrs. Dallmeyer wished to ascertain General Ramsay's record 
in the War of 1812. He acted as brigadier general in General Hopkins' 
Illinois campaign during that year. 

Henry Johnson, state treasurer of Wisconsin, wrote for the Madison 
Wisconsin State Journal of August 15, 1920 an interesting article on 
pioneer home-making in Oconto County. Mr. Johnson himself became 
a pioneer in the town of Howe in the summer of 1879, and he describes 
with evident satisfaction the hardships and pleasures which he under- 
went while engaged in hewing a home out of the forest during the 
following years. 

The Society and the State 


The State Historical Museum has acquired a small collection of 
archeological materials which formerly belonged to the late Mr. Arthur 
Mills of Madison. It consists of stone celts, grooved stone axes, a spud, 
a gorget, plummet, boat stone, pestle, flint and copper implements of 
various classes, and a number of interesting examples of Wisconsin and 
other Indian bead ornamental articles. The stone and copper imple- 
ments have the interest to local students of having been nearly all 
collected from Indian sites on the Lake Monona shores at Madison. 

Mr. H. E. Cole of Baraboo and Curator Charles E. Brown spent 
a number of days in the early part of September surveying groups of 
Indian earthworks and conducting other investigations in the Wisconsin 
River townships in western Columbia County. The most interesting 
and extensive mound groups visited by them were located at Kingsley 
Bend south of Kilbourn, at Lake Whiting, and at Swan Lake. 

The Wisconsin Archeological Society is publishing a report by Dr. 
Alphonse Gerend, of Milladore, which describes the Indian history and 
antiquities of his home county of Sheboygan, a region particularly rich 
in aboriginal remains. The latter include camp and village sites, plant- 
ing grounds, burial places, and groups of mounds, and other earthworks. 
These are most numerous in the region immediately surrounding the 
city of Sheboygan, in the Black River and New Amsterdam country 
along the Lake Michigan shore south of it, and about the margin of the 
great Sheboygan marsh in the northwest corner of the county. Traces 
of Indian occupation also occur along the Sheboygan, Pigeon, and 
Mullet rivers. With the assistance of some of the older members of the 
Forest County band of Potawatomi Dr. Gerend has been able to locate 
the sites of the villages which their people once occupied in Sheboygan 
County and to learn much concerning their history. 

For many years the author has been making a collection of Indian 
stone, clay, and metal implements from the mounds, burial places, and 
camp sites in the county. This is most extensive and is now deposited 
in cases in the Sheboygan Public Library, there to form the nucleus of a 
future public museum. His present report represents the results of 
nearly twenty years of field and research work and deserves the fullest 

The Illinois legislature of 1919 passed an act establishing the fourth 
Friday in September as American Indian Day. The example thus set 
of our sister state might well be followed by Wisconsin. The American 
Indian had his faults, but along with these went certain marked virtues 
which it would be well for present-day Americans to cultivate more 
actively than they seem, at least to one observer, to be doing. The 
story of our treatment of the red race, too, is one whose study is calcu- 
lated to induce a healthy state of humility on the part of those Americans 
who cultivate it with any degree of thoroughness. Wisconsin still has a 
considerable Indian population, and despite their many handicaps our 
red men have made more than one worthy contribution to the cause of 


Survey of Historical Activities 

civilization. To instance a single example, our Wisconsin Indians played 
a really astounding role in the Civil War. The Menominee, out of a 
total population of less than 1,900, sent 125 soldiers into the Union army. 
The Oneida, less than 1,100 strong, furnished 111 soldiers to Wisconsin 
regiments. The Stockbridge and Munsee, from a total population of 
338, supplied forty-three soldiers. All this, be it remembered, without 
the compulsion of conscription, which was responsible for the entry of 
many a white soldier into the army. For Wisconsin to have equaled in 
the recent World War the record of the Stockbridge in the Civil War 
would have required the raising of 340,000 soldiers, approximately three 
times as many as were furnished by the state. Wisconsin might easily 
find a less worthy excuse for a celebration than one commemorating the 
virtues of the North American Indian, the real native American. 

Barahoo, Dells, and the DeviVs Lake Region is the title of a charming 
booklet of sixty-four pages describing the features of scenic and historic 
interest in the region which centers at Baraboo. The author, Harry E. 
Cole, is a resident of Baraboo who has become widely known for his 
devotion to cultural and scholarly interests. The present work, evi- 
dently a labor of love on the part of Mr. Cole, illustrates admirably the 
fact that one need not travel to New England or distant Europe to enjoy 
scenes which are steeped in interesting human associations. The charm- 
ing physical scenery of southern Wisconsin has gained widespread 
popular recognition. If every county had a teacher like Mr. Cole to 
point the way, it would not be long until resident and tourist alike would 
view it in the light of the increased charm which comes from interesting 
human associations. 

Joseph B. Thoburn, secretary of the Oklahoma Historical Society, 
writes that the society at its May meeting made provision for the 
employment of a librarian and for the publication of a quarterly maga- 
zine. The magazine will be edited by Dean J. S. Buchanan of the 
University of Oklahoma and will probably be known as the Oklahoma 
Historical Chronicles. At the time of writing, detailed plans for the 
publication remained to be worked out. 

Mr. Thoburn conveys the following further interesting information 
concerning our sister society of the new Southwest: 

"Our Society has procured by purchase the manuscript Journal of 
Union Mission, It is a very interesting document ofSlOpp., 73^x12 
inches. Like other papers of its class, it reflects the spiritual atmosphere 
of the time in which it was written. At the same time, it throws a flood 
of new light on the history of what is now Eastern Oklahoma a century 
ago. Its first entry is dated April 20, 1820, and it continues until 
February, 1826. Governor Miller, of Arkansas Territory, Colonel 
Matthew Arbuckle, commandant successively at Fort Smith and Can- 
tonment Gibson, General Atkinson, General Edmund P. Gaines, Major 
William Bradford, Captain Nathaniel Pryor, Colonel Augustus P. 
Chouteau and one or two of his brothers are among the characters who 
figure in its pages. The document is fairly well preserved and every line 

The Society and the State 


5 legible. Two yeai-s ago I secured a small manuscript volume of letters, 
bitten just eighty years before, by a lady from Massachusetts who had 
•een a missionary at Dwight Mission, in the Cherokee Nation, in 1834-5. 
t is ready for the printer. It is my idea that these two papers might 
ppropriately be included in one volume." 


The Society has recently received from Mrs. Frank Nanscowen of 
lilwaukee the papers of her father, Captain William Charleton. Cap- 
ain Charleton was a well-known veteran of the Civil War, who died in 
ladison in 1908. He was born in 1831 in Ireland, came to this country 
rhen a boy, and grew up at Verona, in Dane County. He enlisted 
arly in the war and served throughout the entire four years in the 
)leventh Wisconsin Volunteers. After the close of the war he was 
ssemblyman for two terms in 1866 and 1876; he also served as sheriff 
f the county during 1878-79. His papers, for the most part, are con- 
erned with the Civil War period; for some time he acted as quarter- 
laster for his company and retained duplicate copies of all his reports, 
'hese are extremely well kept and indicate the method of invoicing 
tores, ordnance, clothing, and equipage for a unit in the field. There 
re also muster rolls, recruiting papers, and some letters, notably those 
f Captain Otis Remick of Company B of the Eleventh Regiment. There 
re also a few papers connected with Captain Charleton's term as 
beriff, such as jail entries, foreclosures, etc. 


From Mrs. Sarah Louise Kimball of San Francisco the Society has 
sceived the gift of about a score of letters and documents formerly 
elonging to her grandfather, Colonel Simeon De Witt Clough of Racine, 
Wisconsin. Mrs. Kimball writes: "Grandpa Clough sent me these old 
usiness letters, when I was studying shorthand, as forms." It is true 
bat they are models of well-written, well-expressed business letters, 
lost of them were written by Marshall M. Strong, a few by Henry S. 
)urand, William C. Allen, and John Rinewalt. They all relate to the 
nancing of the Racine, Janesville and Mississippi Railroad, which later 
ecame the Western Union. In point of time the letters range from 
B54 to 1857, almost all in the latter two years. At first they are 
ptimistic in tone; the funds are being raised, the mortgages coming in. 
y July, 1857, however, Durand wrote from Providence, Rhode Island, 
^vealing the desperate condition of the company's finances and the 
onstrous debts that would fall due in ten days, with not a dollar pro- 
ded. The writers throw the blame for this sad state of their finances 
low rival railway enterprises. 

To the history of early railroading in Wisconsin these letters are an 
Idition. They are also contributions concerning the first generation of 
isconsin Americans who built up the state in the years before the 
ivil War. When the war began most of these men were too old for 
tive service. Strong addressed war meetings, contributed to relief 
; nds, and loyally supported the men in the field. Clough was the first 


Survey of Historical Activities 

commissary at Camp Utley , Racine, and likewise exerted himself in behalf 
of the Union. Their east and west railroad was also a link in providing 
the necessary transport and connections for the movement of troops and 
supplies. Unwittingly they had builded better than they knew. 


The State Historical Society has received from Fanny M. Jolly- 
man of Cupertino, California, a manuscript written some years ago by 
her father, the late Josiah L. Pickard, who died in 1914. It consists of 
109 typed pages and divides into five main sections — Early life in New 
England; career in Wisconsin, as principal of Platteville Academy (1846- 
1859) and superintendent of public instruction (1860-1864); superin- 
tendent of schools in the city of Chicago (1864-1877); president of the 
University of Iowa (1878-1887); and general remarks on educational 

Mr. Pickard was able to cast his eye in retrospect over the edu- 
cational history of the country from the later eighteen twenties in Ne^ 
England to 1900 and after in California, As a source, his manuscript 
is particularly valuable for the history of public school development m 
Wisconsin, the progress of city school organization as illustrated in 
Chicago, and as giving a cross-section view of the University of Iowa 
about forty years ago, which will illustrate the conditions of state 
universities generally in that epoch. He also throws some light on the 
condition of the University of Wisconsin in the period of the sixties 
Dr. Pickard twice refused to accept the presidency of Wisconsin's 
university in that period, being much more interested in the problems 
of elementary education than in those of higher education. He secured 
the enactment of the county superintendency law in Wisconsin to re- 
place the inefficient town superintendency. He gave much thought tc 
problems of supervision, grading, the preparation of courses of study, 

The manuscript contains several lively descriptions of incidents 
personal to the writer but illustrative at the same time of educationa 
conditions. One is his earliest impression of the New England districi 
school; another depicts an episode of his student days at Bowdoir 
College; a third is a dramatic account of his contest with the Plattevill(j 
Academy trustees over the question of permitting a colored girl t(| 
attend that school. His experience with a hostile Chicago municipa 
government also makes good reading, as does the story of faculty politic 
at Iowa State University. Of very special interest is his account of th 
way the school system was employed in helping to meet the crisi 
brought upon the city of Chicago by the great fire of October, 1871. 

Doctor Pickard presents a noteworthy account of the origin and th 
development of the Wisconsin State Teachers' Association, as also o 
the National Education Association with both of which movements h 
was intimately associated. 

The manuscript will prove an important contribution toward thf 
educational history of the nineteenth century. Copies of it are bein 

The Society and the State 


supplied to the Chicago Historical Society and to the State Historical 
Society of Iowa. 

Joseph Schafer 

the knapp papers 

The Wisconsin Magazine of History for December, 1919 (II, 267-68) 
described the contents of two early diaries of John H. Knapp, founder 
jind president of the "Knapp, Stout and Company Lumber Company." 
iHis son, Henry E. Knapp, has recently deposited with the Society his 
[father's later diaries covering the years 1855, 1859-63, 1865-67, 1869-81. 
Mr. Knapp has also given to the Society a portion of his own correspon- 
dence from 1889 to 1905 and four boxes of genealogical material of the 
Knapp and allied families. These papers add to our knowledge of the 
operations of the great lumber company and of the personal character 
and interests of the Knapp family. Mr, Knapp senior was the pur- 
chasing agent for the firm. His earlier records narrate the several 
journeys each year to New York and Boston. By 1865, however, most 
of the goods could be purchased in Chicago. The success of the firm 
and the increasing amount of its transactions may be traced year by year 
until in 1878 articles were taken out for a joint stock corporation. This 
corporation enlarged rapidly while the wealth of the pineries lasted. 
Three steamboats were owned in order to tow their rafts on the Missis- 
sippi; by 1889, however, these were sold, and the quantity of the mill 
cuttings began slowly to decline. About the same time officers of the 
corporation began searching for southern timber; lands were bought, 
and mills started in southeastern Missouri. 

Among the papers are two considerable inventories of the firm's 
property — one of 1893 and the other of 1899 — useful in understanding 
the necessary equipment for the great logging camps and the farms that 
supplied them with provisions. The decline of the company's stores 
can be traced in these papers; by the middle of the nineties the mer- 
chandizing on the part of the corporation was entirely abandoned. 

These papers are also interesting for other phases of history than 
the economic. The Knapps were in politics to a very small degree, but 
year by year the elder member of the family visited Madison during the 
legislative session. As prominent Wisconsin men they knew the leaders 
of political life. Letters are here from Senators Spooner and Allison, 
from one or more state governors and Congressional representatives. 
One of the correspondents was at the Buffalo exposition when McKinley 
was assassinated and vividly describes the sensations of horror and 
dismay that fell upon the concourse. The elder Knapp and his family 
were in Chicago on that fateful October night of 1871 when the city 
began to burn; his diary relates their escape from the doomed hotel and 
their retreat from the burning city. Both father and son traveled 
extensively, and both diaries and correspondence are full of interesting 
material on Americans in foreign countries. One phase of the cor- 
respondence concerns the Wisconsin troops in the Spanish- American 
War. Company H of the Third Wisconsin was recruited in Menomonie, 
and Mr. Knapp followed its fortunes with his interest and benefactions. 


Survey of Historical Activities 

In return, the officers and soldiers wrote him many letters, exceedingly 
interesting, on camp life in the South and on the Porto Rican Campaign 
One of his correspondents re-enlisted and was sent to the Philippine! 
where his letters describe the insurrection and the American occupatioi 
of Leyte and Samar islands. Later he returned to the "States" an( 
was sent to the garrison at Nome. 

Louise P. Kellogg 


The Society has recently been the recipient of a number of paper 
derived from the estate of Charles Catlin of Milwaukee, turned over t( 
our care by the First Wisconsin Trust Company, administrator. Thesi 
papers are the letters and documents of the Wood family of Vermont 
the best known member of which was Colonel Eleazer Derby Wood 
who was killed in the sortie from Fort Erie, upper Canada, opposit( 
Buffalo, September 17, 1814. Colonel Wood was a native of New Yorl 
educated at West Point, where he was graduated October 30, 1806. H( 
was at once commissioned second lieutenant of engineers and eighteei 
months later promoted to the rank of first lieutenant. During the yean 
preceding the declaration of the War of 1812 he was occupied in building 
defenses in New York harbor and at Norfolk, Virginia. For a time als( 
he was a professor at the military academy. With the outbreak of th( 
war he obtained his captaincy and was sent to assist General Harrisoi 
on the northwest frontier. His engineering skill saved the army at For 
Meigs, and for distinguished services he was brevetted major. The nex^ 
year, in command of the Twenty-first Infantry, he was upon the Niagan 
frontier where July 25 he was brevetted lieutenant colonel for gallani 
conduct at the battle of the preceding fourteenth. His loss was severely 
felt by his comrades and superiors in arms. General Jacob Brown pro 
nounced his eulogy, describing him as "brave, generous and enterprising.' 
The same officer raised a monument to his friend Colonel Wood on th( 
grounds of West Point. 

The papers, which were exhibited at the Perry Victory Centennia 
in the Public Museum, Milwaukee, comprise twelve letters of Colone 
Wood to his brothers, ranging in date from 1808 to 1814 : one letter fron 
a comrade to Wood; a long account in his own handwriting of the sieg< 
of Fort Meigs; and a document written by Dr. James W. Wood des 
cribing his captivity as a civilian in Canada during 1813 and 1814. Th( 
letters of the young soldier are delightful; they are instinct with th( 
highest sentiments of honor and patriotism, love of family, and noble 
principles. The earliest describe his work, his pleasant situation a1 
Norfolk, Virginia, his life at West Point. Even by 1810 he saw the wai 
clouds beginning to lower and was eager to take his part in America'j 
defense. From Washington in December, 1812 he writes of the plans 
and disposition of the forces, his disappointment with reverses; and ir 
1814 he does not hesitate to denounce the "low state of our arms" and the 
"adverse reputation reverses have brought us." Nevertheless he waj 
no gloomy pessimist. At Canandaigua, March 14, 1814 he writes 
"We nevertheless possess valour & intrepidity; but the former is illy 

The Society and the State 


Dnducted & the latter is cramped — the Army is, in some measure 
ilieved and invigorated by the late promotions, changes, and removals 
;c — so trust something will be done in the course of the ensuing Cam- 
aign, which will tend to soften and give it a different cast." 

He had unbounded admiration for General William H. Harrison, 
is chief in command at Fort Meigs; as a token of esteem he presented 
3 Harrison the sword which Proctor surrendered to Wood upon the 
attlefield at the Thames. His strictures upon the commander who 
jffered the defeat at River Raisin and upon Colonel Dudley, who was 
efeated in the attempt to relieve Fort Meigs, are severe. As a military 
aper, descriptive of a campaign, a better one has rarely come under 
ur observation than Wood's account of the siege and relief of Fort 
leigs in the spring of 1813. This event was closely connected with 
V^isconsin history, since it was Indians from our region, led by British 
artisans, that whooped and yelped about the American camp and 
ialped and mutilated the bodies of the unfortunate victims — those 
demons of the forest" as our author calls them "instead of remaining 
lie at the foot of the Trees, they bounded into their Tops, with as much 
gility & dexterity, as if they had been taught it from infancy, and from 
lose elevated stations, poured down into our Camp prodigious showers 
f Musketry." How Wood himself outwitted the plans of Proctor and 
rotected the American soldiers from both redcoats and Indians is told 
y himself in a description too long to cite, but fascinating to read, 
although a soldier, he had no love for warfare and advised his brother 
gainst adopting a military profession. *T have written him to examine 
imself well, and if he thinks himself qualified for the oflfice; and that he 
an stem the horrors of war, in however hideous a shape they may 
ppear; he had better accept the appointment. I however, remind 
im of one Sir John Falstaff ! Honor is a fine thing; but it will not set 
broken leg; nor keep a hungry man from starving!" For himself he 
id his duty with courage and deliberation. *T am now destined for 
be true life of a soldier," he writes in 1812, "have many duties to per- 
)rm, and much to undergo; but if, after all I can serve my country, 
reserve my reputation and contribute to the attainment of the object 
1 view, viz., freedom — I am satisfied." So writes an American Bayard, 
sans peur et sans reproche." America has many such sons who have 
ladly offered their lives on the altar of freedom, but none more pure 
nd true than Eleazer D. Wood as revealed to the world by this series 
f letters. 

Louise P. Kellogg 


The Society has come into possession of a group of letters and papers 
f especial interest for diplomatic history of the United States during 
he late thirties of the last century. After the Canadian revolution of 
837 a number of those who had been concerned therein, especially the 
iaders of the two sections, Louis Papineau of Lower Canada, William 
^yon McKenzie of Upper Canada, escaped to the United States and 


Survey of Historical Activities 

there carried on their propaganda for several years. Among the mon 
prominent of the exiles was Louis Perrault, whose brother, Charles 
Ovide Perrault, was the hero and martyr of the battle of St. Denis 
During the first half of 1839 Louis Perrault lived at Burlington, Ver 
mont, and acted as treasurer for the funds collected for the relief of th( 
exiles. Louis Perrault was in constant communication with the revo 
lutionary leaders, and their letters to him contain all the secrets of th( 
organization, the hopes, the plans, the sufferings, and the despairs o 
these exiled "patriots." Louis Perrault himself belonged to the"peac( 
group"; he deplored any further efforts at violent action and was willing 
to take advantage of any amnesty that the government authoritiei 
would grant. He even applied to the governor general of Canada fo 
permission to return to his family home at Montreal. None the less, h( 
with his other compatriots was not averse to fishing in troubled water; 
and to utilizing the sympathy of the United States with the Canadiai 
revolutionists to involve our country in war with Great Britain. Whei 
difficulties over the northeast boundary arose, and the governor of Maini 
issued a threatening proclamation in the so-called *'Aroostook War" o 
1839, the patriots took heart of hope, which died when President Vai 
Buren and Secretary of State Forsyth repudiated Governor Fairfield' 
action and made soothing overtures to Great Britain. 

The object of the patriots was Canadian independence. Thei 
"Declaration," included among these papers in both an English an( 
a French version, is an echo of our own. If they had succeeded in thei 
purpose they might have become immortal "signers" and "fathers' 
of their country. A certain amount of liberal sentiment in Grea 
Britain, at this time, might have supported a separation. Some of th 
exiles went secretly to London, while from Paris, where Papineau wa 
endeavoring to work up French sympathy, came hints of Britisl 
acquiescence and interest. 

The most interesting figure among Perrault' s correspondents wa 
Edmund B. O'Callaghan, later editor of the well-known histories 
volumes of the New York Colonial Documents. O'Callaghan corres 
ponded with Papineau at Paris and made long extracts from his letter 
for Perrault. O'Callaghan, likewise, deplored the foolish borde 
skirmishes in which several unfortunate exiles were killed. To his min< 
violence had failed, and only propaganda by press and other persuasiv 
methods remained. During the time these letters were being writte: 
Lord Durham's famous report on the state of Canada was published— 
report which in the end rendered futile and unnecessary all insurrectioii 
ary movements among our northward neighbors. The exiles, howeyei 
were bitter concerning it and denounced its '^duplicity" and unjus 
discriminations. The expeditions for the collection of relief funds ende 
in pitiful failures. Two of the French-Canadians visited New Yorl 
Philadelphia, Washington, and Baltimore, but did not secure enough fc 
their own expenses, and one of them was held up at Baltimore unt 
relief could be sent to him; another visited New Orleans, with wha 
success we are not informed. 


' The Society and the State 235 

Other melancholy features of the correspondence relate to the fate 
of the "patriots" who were captured and were in prison in Canada or in 
London awaiting transportation to penal colonies. Attempts to prove 
their trials illegal or appeals to clemency availed but little. One of 
Perrault's brothers writes from Montreal after release from imprison- 
ment in which he had suffered much. 

The correspondence comes to a sudden end, probably because Louis 
Perrault was permitted in July, 1839 to leave Burlington for Montreal, 
where he seems to have passed the remainder of his life as a respected 
citizen. Hastily tying up the compromising letters in a packet Perrault 
sent them from Burlington, July 29, to his friend Duvernay, then at 
Middlebury, writing thereon "Papiers prives Louis Perrault. Duvernay 
voudra bien lui conservez." Duvernay in his turn departed before long 
from Middlebury for Montreal, leaving the packet of papers, carefully 
corded and sealed, with an American lady of his acquaintance at that 
place. She kept the trust sacredly, and apparently the seal was never 
broken until by the settlement of the estate of her daughter the package 
came into the hands of a curator of our Society. He, appreciating their 
unusual character, presented them to the Society. The historical value 
of these papers is considerable and more than merely local. They throw 
Hght on the aftermath of the Canadian attempt at independence and 
upon the international affiliations evoked by their revolt. 

Louise P. Kellogg 


James H. McManus ("The Trails of Northern Wisconsin") is a 
veteran member of the West Wisconsin Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. He contributed "A Forgotten Trail" to the De- 
cember, 1919 issue of this magazine. 

Theodore C. Blegen ("Colonel Hans Christian Heg") has recently 
been made assistant professor of history at Hamline University, St. Paul. 
He has previously written for this magazine an article on "The Compe- 
tition of the Northwestern States for Immigrants," published in the 
issue of September, 1919. 

M. M. Quaife ("The Panic of 1862 in Wisconsin") is the editor of 
the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. 

W. A. Titus ("Historic Spots in Wisconsin: V. The Battle of the 
Bad Axe") of Fond du Lac continues in this issue his interesting series 
of articles. 

Joseph Schafer ("Co-operation between the State Historical 
Society and Local Societies") is the superintendent of the State Histori- 
cal Society of Wisconsin. 



From a photograph presented to the Wisconsin Historical Society by Mr. J. H. 
Evans of Platteville. Mr. Evans, who knew Grant (luring his Galena period, was in 
Memphis in November, 1862, where he chanced to see t(he General come out of a photog- 
rapher's shop. Entering, he engaged a copy of this picture which had just been taken. 

VOL. IV K'^ 





tendent, MILO M. QUAIFE, Editor 



The Military Education of Grant as General . . . 

Colonel Arthur L, Conger 239 

Doctor William Beaumont : His Life in Mackinac 
AND Wisconsin 1820-1834 Deborah Beaumont Martin 263 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin W. A. Titus 281 

Chronicles of Early Watertown . William F. Whyte 287 

An Historical Museum Carl R, Fish 315 


Letters of a Badger Boy in Blue: Into the South- 
land 322 i 

Historical Fragments: 

More Light on Jonathan Carver; The United States 
and Japan; Napoleonic Soldiers in Wisconsin; 
Benjamin Hyde Edgerton: Wisconsin Pioneer; 

James Otto Lewis 345 

Survey of Historical Activities : 
The Society and the State; Some Wisconsin Public 
Documents 359 

The Society as a body is not responsible for statements or opinions advanced 
in the following pages by contributors. 


Colonel Arthur L. Conger 

In a conversation a few weeks ago an officer of high rank 
in our army, who had himself exercised a higher command 
during the late war, said to me: *'I become more and more 
curious to learn the habits and nature of the military geni- 
uses of the past. I suppose they were geniuses — but we did 
not have any such in the late war. In that the leaders were 
all mediocre people who knew very little and who owed their 
positions to other qualities." 

Many years ago this same baffling lustre of fable, shad- 
owing the lives and deeds of past military heroes and mak- 
ing of them creatures of a different sort from the men of our 
own time, led me on a quest into the secrets of their genius. 
And, if I now choose Grant as a typical case for critical 
investigation it is not from any desire to evade the questions 
connected with the leaders in later wars or to divert atten- 
tion back into the now neglected realm of our former mili- 
tary history, but because Grant is one of the most recent 
examples of a military leader concerning whom we have 
access to the sources requisite, and yet far enough removed 
to permit their dispassionate examination. 

The spirit of this inquiry is not one of captiousness. The 
subject is approached with a sincere admiration for the 
character and ability of the man who, through his own 
efforts and profiting by his opportunities, developed a ca- 
pacity beyond that of any other general of his time or of his 
nation. Others may have possessed greater talents; no 
other has proved them by his actual conduct in command of 
great armies in a war of magnitude. 

Before taking up Grant's career, permit me a preliminary 
plowing of the ground by way of a few military truisms: 
First, Generalship, in its military sense, is the art of leading 
masses of men in campaigns or battles ; it excludes the roles 


Colonel Arthur L, Conger 

and functions of a troop, battery, company, or regimental 
commander and begins with those of a brigade, division, or 
higher unit commander. 

Second, The problems confronting a general increase in 
difficulty and in their demands on his powers and knowl- 
edge in proportion to the size of his command. They be- 
come very involved and complex when his command passes 
beyond the 60,000 (or modern army corps) stage and be- 
come supremely difficult when his command passes the 
200,000 (or modern army) stage, so that it has to operate as 
separate armies or army groups. 

Third, The burdens upon the shoulders of an indepen- 
dent commander are vastly greater than the burdens upon 
those of a subordinate commander regardless of the size of 
the command. Thus it is harder to command a brigade 
acting independently than a division acting as part of an 
army corps, or to command a division acting independently 
than a corps acting as part of an army. 

Fourth, Contrary to the popular conception, victory or 
defeat is not a sound criterion of good generalship. Both 
the opposing commanders may be good generals, or both 
may be poor generals ; yet, if the armies fight, one must win 
and the other lose. Though the leader of one army may be 
superior to his opponent in generalship, yet the condition 
of the troops as to discipline or morale, the proportionate 
number of combatants, or amount of material on each side, 
or other factors, such as terrain, supplies, transportation, or 
even the weather, may still determine the issue of the combat 
or campaign. 

Hence, in judging the generalship displayed in any given 
case, we cannot conclude, as in a prize fight, that the best 
man won, but must review the general's decisions and acts 
in the light of the situation as it presented itself to him. We 
may blame him for failing to take the measures necessary to 
inform himself about the actual situation, but so far as his 

The Military Education of Grant as General 241 

actions and orders are concerned, we must view them in the 
actual setting of the moment. Was the order given clear, 
definite, and forceful — suited, not to us with our fuller 
knowledge, but to the man or men to whom issued? Nor 
are the results obtained to be left out of consideration. 
Were the results obtained worth the cost — that is the was- 
tage in men and their morale, the expenditure or loss of ma- 
terial, the gain or loss of prestige or territory .^^ 

On the purely personal side we cannot as judge or jury 
condemn any American general prior to this late war for 
accepting a military command without possessing the 
knowledge requisite to ensure a reasonable hope of success 
to his government or warrant the expectation in his officers 
and men that, if their lives were spent, they would be spent 
at least in a justifiable or rational effort for the common 
cause. For, until after the Spanish War, we never had in this 
country any school where the principles of troop leadership 
of any force larger than a regiment were either studied or 
taught; nor did our army afford any opportunity for the 
exercise of such leadership. Between wars we had never 
had organized, except on paper, a general officer's command. 
The consequences were that no one knew that any special 
knowledge was required to exercise effective command of a 
brigade or higher unit and — as the inevitable corollary to 
this ignorance — that each citizen secretly believed in his 
heart that he was the one man divinely inspired by Provi- 
dence to lead his fellow citizens in battle. 

Let us turn now to Grant's first exercise of a general's 
command in battle, at Belmont. The nature of the affair 
is well known. Grant was ordered to create a diversion. 
To do so he embarked two brigades comprising five regi- 
ments of infantry, two troops of cavalry, and a battery 
(in all 3,000 men) on transports at Cairo and sailed under 
naval convoy down the Mississ;p})i, landing on the morning 
of November 7, 1861 a few miles north of Belmont, marched 


Colonel Arthur L, Conger 

overland, attacked and captured a Confederate post de- 
fended by 2,000 men, but did not capture the men. His 
command became demoralized, pillaging the captured camp. 
Reinforcing Confederate troops crossed the river from Co- 
lumbus and, by maneuvering to cut off their retreat, drove 
Grant's men in confusion back to their transports. One 
regiment was indeed cut off, but by the wit of its colonel and 
good luck it managed ultimately to get back to the trans- 

Let us examine Grant's role in this affair. 

His first act upon landing was to detail a battalion to 
remain as reserve. Was this correct .^^ Assuming that 
Grant knew the ground, a battalion (200 to 600 men) should 
not have been left back "as reserve." It was justifiable to 
leave a small transport guard. 

He then marched toward Belmont to a crossroad where 
the two brigades were deployed side by side in single line. 

Were the time, place, and method of deployment justi- 

As to the time, we have no information on which to judge. 
As to place, two of the regiments were deployed directly be- 
hind a pond which apparently could not be crossed. Thus, 
when orders were given to attack, the right regiment went 
ahead, but the next two regiments had to reform column 
and march around the pond; they then took up a false di- 
rection of attack, crossing the line of the two left regiments 
which had meantime also lost their direction ahd gone to the 
extreme right in an attempt to close in on the right regiment. 
Hence the place of deployment cannot be justified, at least 
as a place for the deployment of the whole force. 

As to the method of deployment we know that two com- 
panies of each regiment were sent forward as skirmishers. 
The remainder of the regiments were deployed in a single 
continuous line without battalion supports, or without bri- 
gade reserves, or without a general reserve, since the battal- 

The Military Education of Grant as General 243 

ion left at the transports two miles away could not prop- 
erly be so des'gnated. 

Such a formation for an attack in woods involved inevit- 
ably everything that followed. The first attack might win 
or lose ; if it lost, the whole command would become demor- 
alized; if it won, it would become disorganized, and the 
least reserve held out by the enemy would suffice to defeat 
it. As to what followed, the Confederate commander, 
Pillow, did not hold out a reserve and was in the same situa- 
tion as Grant until reinforcements sent by Polk across the 
river turned the tide. 

Under the circumstances was Grant's order to attack 
justified.'^ Grant knew the enemy's strength; he knew the 
opposing commander. The attack formation was of course 
the best he knew, and he trusted perhaps in the justice of 
the Union cause for success. As he saw the situation it was 
correct, and today it must be considered correct. That 
order to attack was Grant's last act as commander that day. 
Not having any reserve he had no further influence on the 
course of events, for his so-called reserve at the transports 
broke and ran with the rest. It was a case of sauve qui peut. 

What did Grant not suffer and learn through the long 
hours of that day! Brigade Commander on the line — yet 
unable to influence it; having no reserve; seeing his troops 
turn first into a mob of looters, then into a rabble of fugitives, 
without cohesion or power of united action ; thinking of that 
lost regiment which he knew to be cut off! Though the 
regiment finally worked its way through the woods and 
reached the transports, how must Grant have dreaded in the 
meantime having to return to Cairo to report defeat and the 
loss of that Twenty-seventh Regiment of Illinois Infantry! 
I can sympathize with him in that as I had a brigade myself 
in the Argonne with a lost battalion. I hasten to add that I 
did not lose it, it having been lost before I was given com- 
mand of the brigade; but I know how Grant must have felt. 


Colonel Arthur L, Conger 

So much for his first fight in command. We can give 
him all possible credit for being willing to fight and for sens- 
ing the enemy's weakness; but on the side of professional 
knowledge of how to fight we must give him zero. Had he 
done in France what he did at Belmont, and been found out, 
he would have been sent to Blois and demoted or discharged ; 
had he made that deployment and advance against a trained 
general on the other side, assuming the troops as they were, 
he and his command would have been killed or captured. 
The affair approximated Moltke's description of our Civil 
War, "Two armed mobs chasing each other around the 
country, from which nothing could be learned." Moltke 
was wrong in this last; Grant did learn from it. Further, 
if it was Grant's first lesson in bitterness under military 
responsibility, it was by no means his first lesson in human 

Grant had not wanted to go to West Point, had in that 
primitive institution remained as one apart — in it but not 
of it. In the Mexican War he had seen an army torn by 
intrigues and jealousies, bungling through by sheer weight 
of superiority of race, in spite of total lack by the officers of 
scientific knowledge of war. After that war he had shared 
in the debasement of the army, turning, in ignorance of any 
professional knowledge or study, to gambling, hunting, 
and intoxication for amusement. Finally, hounded out 
of the army, a failure as an officer, he proved likewise a 
failure as a farmer and barely able to make a living as a 
helper in a store. 

After these ntellectually as well as financially lean years 
in civil life, what must not have been the bitterness in 
Grant's soul, as he saw his fellow graduates from West Point 
commissioned as generals to bear high responsibilities in the 
day of their country's need, while he, an outcast, met no 
response to his tender of his services as an officer, awaited in 
vain in McClellan's anteroom an opportunity to seek a 

The Military Education of Grant as General ^4:5 

humble staff appointment, and finally was able only through 
his knowledge of army routine to gain employment as a 
clerk to make out muster rolls? Grant did not scorn this 
humble duty; he performed it like a man and, having per- 
formed it, was given his reward by being made colonel of a 
regiment so insubordinate and even mutinous that no one 
else dared command it. 

But these humiliations had done for Grant something 
that life had not done for many other generals in the Civil 
or any other war; they had made him look reality squarely 
in the face. If Grant approached the problem of leadership 
in war much less tutored in the professional part than a sav- 
age chieftain, at least he knew himself and his own capacity 
unflinchingly to take punishment. He might make mis- 
takes, but he would not conceal from himself the fact that he 
had made them, nor would he be so overcome by emotion 
that he could not learn from these mistakes how to avoid re- 
peating them. 

It was two months after Belmont before Grant again 
showed the will to fight. Early in January he began to ask 
Halleck, the Department Commander, to let him attack 
Fort Henry. In February, three months after Belmont, 
Halleck let him go. How had Grant spent the intervening 

What he should have done was to equip his troops, or- 
ganize his troops, organize a staff, train his command, par- 
ticularly his higher officers. There is no evidence as to 
what he tried to do. The probability is that Grant, not 
having any competent staff, or not knowing how to use one, 
let his time be eaten up by details of administration. Cer- 
tain it is that his troops were relatively no better prepared 
for Henry than they had been for Belmont. They were 
more highly organized on paper, but it was, so to speak, a 
deathbed organization, made at the last moment before 
going in, and, in the modern sense of the term, no organ iza- 


Colonel Arthur L, Conger 

tion. Grant had not yet developed a stafiF; and if he made 
any attempt to train his officers they failed to show it. The 
elements in Grant's favor were that the troops showed evi- 
dences of little better discipline and drill, and Grant himself 
now knew a few things to be avoided so far as concerned his 
own orders and action; that his troops had had a taste of 
gunpowder which their new opponents had not; and that 
Grant now had under his command C. F. Smith, one of the 
best, if not the best, of the officers in the Union army at that 

The landing for the attack on Forts Henry and Heiman 
was made about six miles above the forts on the Tennessee 
River. The command was to march at dawn on February 
6 : one stronger column (three brigades under McClernand) 
to attack the land side of Fort Henry; one weaker column 
(two brigades under C. F. Smith) to attack Fort Heiman; 
while the gunboat fleet under Commodore Foote brought 
the forts under gun fire. Note that General Grant now has 
a reserve of one brigade which is to follow between the two 
columns along the river bank. 

Here we see Grant digesting but not yet assimilating his 
experience. He had a reserve this time and he stayed with 
it. The result is pathetic. There was no road along the 
river and the reserve could not go anywhere. McClernand 
got out on his road and, not having any will to fight, was 
seized with panic, halted, and did nothing. About noon the 
navy brought Fort Henry under fire and the raw Confed- 
erate troops were terror-stricken by the mere sound of the 
shells, all but a few of which went harmlessly overhead. 
The infantry garrison ran away, and the artillerists and the 
general commanding the river fort surrendered to the gun- 
boats. An hour or two later McClernand, resuming the 
march with his column, reached the fort, and some hours 
later Grant, learning the news, came up to find his plans for 
capturing the garrison gone awry. Smith arrived toward 
evening at the abandoned Fort Heiman. 

The Military Education of Grant as General 247 

Can we approve Grant's march order? 

Clearly he had drawn too broad a deduction from his 
Belmont experience. There he wished he had had a reserve 
and wished he had stayed with it; here he had had one and 
had stayed with it but had not needed the reserves and found 
himself during the critical hours absent from the scene of 
action, powerless to influence events. Even after the sur- 
render of the fort and the arrival of McClernand things had 
gone on all wrong according to Grant's opinion. 

No wonder that, having his hoped-for battle fizzle out 
under his eyes, he yearned to attack Fort Donelson. Was 
nothing ever to go right? 

Five days later he began the march from the Tennessee 
Valley across to the Cumberland Valley to attack Fort Don- 
elson. Note the assimilation of experience here. He 
organizes a right column, a left column, and a reserve; but 
the reserve does not attempt to follow across country; 
it follows by the best road, and Grant himself rides where 
he belongs, at the head of the main body of the right or main 

That decision may seem simple to the reader, but, after 
plunging into the fog of the Civil War as I have, and dis- 
covering McClelland and Burnside and nearly all the rest 
doing the same wrong things time and again and never re- 
flecting, never seeing that they were wrong, and then com- 
ing upon Grant learning these simple lessons that we today 
learn at our school of the line and staff college, learning them 
one at a time and haltingly, but learning them, the contrast 
between the man capable of learning and the incapables is so 
vivid that one does not wonder that the man wlio learned 
also rose to command all the armies of the United States. 

But more lessons were to come to Grant at Donelson. 
Arriving before the Fort on the afternoon of February H, 
Grant is seen applying what he thought were the lessons of 
Fort Henry, trying to extend his line to the rii^lil to cut off 


Colonel Arthur L. Conger 

the escape of the garrison. Smith, now a division com- 
mander, has put in his command in scientific formation, 
that is distributed in depth, skirmishers, firing Hne, supports, 
brigade reserves, and a whole brigade as divisional reserve. 
McClernand, on the right, has his command, also a division 
of three brigades, strung out in one single line, not a single 
reserve back of it! Does Grant commend Smith and 
chide McClernand? Not at all. He urges on McClernand 
to extend still more and keeps pushing him out to the 
right in an effort to extend the line to the river above 
Fort Donelson. Not appreciating correctly the difference 
between the Fort Henry and the Fort Donelson situations, 
he even takes the reserve brigade which General C. F. Smith 
had so carefully treasured up and uses it with other fresh 
troops, brought up the Cumberland River by transport, to 
create a third division under Wallace which is used further 
to attenuate the line, now backed only by the scanty re- 
serves Smith has been able to save from Grant's lavish dis- 
persion — now characterized in our schools as the favorite 
tactical sin of the beginner. 

Grant evidently expected to repeat the naval history of 
Fort Henry with the difference that this time the army 
would have arrived to receive the surrender by the time the 
gunboats had shelled the fort into submission. Had the 
navy been a school-trained, and not an experienced-trained 
navy, with not much experience at that. Grant's expecta- 
tions in this regard might still have been fulfilled. But the 
navy stuck to its "closing-in" tactics so successful at Henry, 
but fatally inapplicable here. 

Tactics is very simple; but one has to know which rule 
to apply. Henry was a water battery; Donelson was a hill 
battery with nearly all short-range guns. At Donelson the 
gunboats with their weapons of superior range and effective- 
ness had only to stand off and destroy the fort batteries at 
their leisure and then ascend the river and rake the garrison 

The Military Education of Grant as General 249 

fore and aft until it surrendered. Instead, the fleet steamed 
in to short range from where it could not reach the hill bat- 
tery with its guns, but where the short-range guns of the fort 
could fire on the fleet so effectively as to compel it to drop 
out of action. 

This happened on the fourteenth. Grant, seemingly, 
was taken aback. The Fort Donelson forces, strongly re- 
inforced and jubilant over their victory over the gunboats, 
thought only of attacking and of destroying Grant's land 
forces. Thus while Grant, unconscious of the unsoundness 
of his dispositions, without even the forethought to place 
Smith, his next ranking oflficer, in temporary command, 
went down the river and aboard the flagship to arrange 
further naval co-operation, the Confederate forces were 
forming for attack with high hopes of success. 

The Confederate plan of General Pillow was similar to 
that of Lee later in the same year at Mechanicsville and 
Gaines's Mill. Both attacks were to take advantage of an 
over-extended Union right flank and the absence of Union 
reserves back of it. Both Pillow's and Lee's attacks were 
bungled in about the same way and both, in spite of the 
bungling, were reasonably successful. The difference was 
that after Grant's command, or half of it, had been de- 
stroyed, Grant, returning to the battlefield, was met by Smith, 
who begged permission to counter attack with his still 
treasured portion of reserves. Grant consented; he could 
hardly refuse his former revered instructor at West Point ! 

Curiously enough, the same counter measure to Lee's 
attack was suggested to McClellan. Had he accepted the 
offer of his corps commander who wished to attack Rich- 
mond he might have gone through and brought a speedy end 
to the war in 1862. However, there was at that time no 
C. F. Smith in the Army of the Potomac who knew enough 
to treasure up reserves and be prepared for all eventualities, 
and therefore McClellan and his Army of the Potomac went 
down the James River in shame and defeat. 


Colonel Arthur L, Conger 

After the surrender of Fort Donelson, Grant was as one 
stunned. The new situation was one outside his experience. 
He proposed tentatively to Halleck an advance on Nash- 
ville. He does not appear to have seen the rich fruits of 
victory open to his grasp as he had seen the opportunity for 
attacking Fort Donelson after the fall of Fort Henry. 

Possibly the Civil War schoolmaster, experience, stepped 
in to save embarrassment at this critical juncture and to 
keep Grant from growing conceited over the success, to 
which he was so little accustomed, of his partly earned 
Donelson victory, and at the same time, which was most 
important, afford him leisure for reflection on his mistakes 
and their consequences. At any rate friction with Halleck, 
since explained away as owing to the suppression of messages 
by a traitorous telegrapher, resulted in Grant's being re- 
lieved from command and placed in virtual arrest for over 
a week. Meanwhile Halleck ordered his command sent up 
the Tennessee, which movement was executed under the 
orders of C. F. Smith. Unhappily for Grant and for the 
Union, Smith, wounded at Donelson, soon after had to be 
relieved from duty and shortly afterwards died. Grant, 
restored to duty, found his army encamped at Pittsburg 
Landing near Shiloh without outposts, without reconnois* 
sance, without secret service, without camps laid out on any 
systematic plan, without instruction of officers, without 
camp maps, good roads, or guideposts. 

Grant failed to perceive the lack of these requisites. 
Indeed, he seems at Shiloh to have struck the low water 
mark of his military education. He has been blamed for 
failure to intrench, but the criticism does not come from any 
competent source. He is not properly chargeable with 
shunning preparations for a defensive fight; he is chargeable 
with neglecting to prepare his officers and men for any kind 
of battle at all, like the improvident father who brings up 
his son only to spend money and then suddenly goes under 
in a panic, leaving the son stranded and helpless. 

The Military Education of Grant as General 251 

Grant was undoubtedly disgruntled over his unjust 
treatment by Halleck; but the main factor was, I believe, 
that he was still dazed by the Donelson crisis. The civilian 
does not realize the strain of command in action nor the 
time necessary to recover from its effects. Grant had had 
three months between Belmont and Henry-Donelson; his 
teacher, experience, gave him only fifty days between Don- 
elson and Shiloh, and, even with the enforced inaction of 
ten days, this was not enough. 

Grant was caught mentally as unprepared for the battle 
as was his command. He and his army were saved by the 
mistakes of the visionary and inexperienced Confederate 
general, A. S.Johnston, and by the firm adherence by Grant 
to the same policy Smith had taught him under the stress 
at Donelson : to prepare a reserve for counterattack. Grant 
had no C. F. Smith at Shiloh to pave an easy way for a 
counterattack; but a reserve was gradually and finally 
built up, and it brought eventual success. 

We have already said — and this is as true today as in 
Grant's time — that tactical success is assured by adherence 
to very simple principles. The difficulty exists only in 
knowing when and how to apply them. Thus, for example, 
nearly every decisive victory has been gained by the right 
use of reserves withheld from action until the arrival of the 
timely moment. Nearly every great general has been 
taught this lesson by bitter experience: Napoleon learned 
it at Marengo ; Moltke at Koeniggratz. In both cases their 
reserves came on the field at the critical moment by accident. 
Napoleon ever after planned his battles to occur like the 
"accident" at Marengo; Moltke did the same. Lee should 
have learned this lesson at Frazier's Farm. Jackson learned 
it early and while he lived applied it, for Lee, with excellent 
results. Lee himself did not master it until liis bitter failure 
at Gettysburg brought home to him the most precious secret 
of the military commander, too late except for use in parry- 


Colonel Arthur L. Conger 

ing Grant's blows of 1864. Sherman never learned this 
great lesson of tactics, although he mastered many others. 
Sheridan was taught it at Winchester; Thomas learned it at 
Chickamauga and practiced it with a wonderfully sure hand 
at Nashville. I do not know where Joffre learned it, but he 
used it with skill in the First Battle of the Marne as did Pe- 
tain in the Second Battle of the Marne. 

This lesson which had escaped McDowell, Buell, Mc- 
Clellan, Burnside and every other Union leader was worth 
to the Union all the time and losses at Belmont, Donelson, 
and Shiloh which it had cost to teach it to Grant. In the 
absence of any school of applied theory in that epoch it 
could only be taught by favoring experience and then only 
to the apt pupil. 

Shiloh, perhaps Grant's most vital personal experience, 
was followed by another two months' period of gestation 
during which Halleck joined in person the Army of the Ten- 
nessee and assigned Grant as second in command with no 
duties save to observe and to reflect. 

Thereafter Grant, again in command, had various minor 
experiences which time does not permit our following out, 
but which served more fully to equip him for the problems 
of the Vicksburg campaign the following year. In that 
campaign Grant displayed the same knowledge and skill 
and displayed it in much the same manner as had Napoleon 
in his Ulm campaign in 1805. The only difference was that 
what Napoleon had learned partly at school and partly 
through his experience in Italy Grant had learned almost 
wholly from his experience in the Mississippi, Tennessee, 
and Cumberland valleys. Never did experience teach more 
patiently and persistently, harshly at times, yet always with 
ample periods for recovery of balance and inward absorp- 
tion. Always in independent command, first with 3,000 
men (Belmont), then 9,000 (Henry), then 18,000 (Donel- 
son), next 36,000 (Shiloh), lastly 72,000 (Vicksburg), 

The Military Education of Grant as General 253 

making all the beginner's mistakes but profiting by each and 
fortunately not having his career wrecked by them, who else 
is there in all history who has been given such a military 

One marked feature of Grant's military education was 
its leisurely progress. Following the surrender of Vicks- 
burg he again had a period of inaction of three months' dura- 
tion. Just what use Grant made of these periods of inactiv- 
ity there is no evidence to show. He did not, apparently, 
as Napoleon used to do between campaigns, have maps pre- 
pared of the battlefields and study the past operations with 
a view to extracting the utmost to be derived from a thor- 
ough knowledge of the complete facts. Yet his own conduct 
showed that he did learn from them; and I cannot escape 
the conviction that these periods of protracted inaction and 
reflection were as essential to his mastering of the military 
art as were the intermittent periods of activity. 

It is well, however, to point out to such as may have 
mihtary ambitions that never again under modern condi- 
tions of warfare are we likely to have a conflict drag on 
through intermittent fighting, awaiting the education in ac- 
tion of the general to end it. The general-in-chief in an- 
other great war may not begin his education at a staff college 
but it is certain that he will begin it at his desk and following 
staff college methods, and not, as Grant began it, by com- 
manding in a muddled fight like Belmont. 

In July, 1863, Grant was merely one of three successful 
Union generals, Meade and Rosecrans being the other two. 
Meade during the autumn proved a disappointment while 
Rosecrans, defeated at Chickamauga, was a still greater one. 
It was thus only natural that in October Grant should be 
called to Tennessee to raise the resultant siege of Chatta- 
nooga. Here he met his first problem in command of com- 
bined armies, for the Army of the Cumberland was to be 
reinforced by the Army of the Tennessee, brought from 


Colonel Arthur L. Conger 

Vicksburg under Sherman, and by Hooker's Corps borrowed 
from the Army of the Potomac. 

Grant's orders for the attack on Bragg's army on Mis- 
sionary Ridge showed the same rawness in the new and more 
complex game of commanding armies that his orders for 
Belmont had shown in the handling of a brigade. Grant 
ignored three important considerations : First, he overlooked 
the need of giving each of his armies an appropriate mission 
in the approaching battle. His own former Army of the 
Tennessee, now under Sherman, was to make the attack 
while the Army of the Cumberland under Thomas was to 
look on. Second, he antagonized Thomas' men and 
Hooker's men by appearing to conduct the operations so as 
to reflect credit on his own former army and consequently 
to discredit further the Cumberland Army still stinging from 
its defeat at Chickamauga and disgruntled over its half- 
rations during the siege of Chattanooga. Third, Grant, 
finding Bragg's front formidable in appearance, adopted a 
flank attack without any reconnoissance to determine 
whether the terrain was feasible for such an attack, which it 
proved not to be. Yet he had been in Chattanooga over a 
month before the battle. 

A spirit of emulation between rival units, whether divi- 
sions, corps, or armies, serving side by side is an admirable 
thing; yet seldom can the higher commander afford to take 
sides in such rivalries. That Grant's inexperience led him 
to appear to do so might easily have compromised the 
hoped-for victory ; that it did not do so in this instance was 
owing to Grant's having assigned Sherman an impossible 
task and, through lack of broader tactical experience, hav- 
ing assigned to Thomas an easy assaulting position though 
with orders to demonstrate only and not to attack. The 
men themselves, stung by the insult to their army and their 
commander, won a soldiers' victory by refusing to halt and 
going on to the capture of Missionary Ridge. 

The Military Education of Grant as General 255 

Pope, in 1862, was ruined by a similar display of partisan- 
ship. Grant, more fortunate in 1863, was saved from the 
consequences of his own faulty conception, plan, and orders 
by the fact that his errors in the psychological estimate of 
his own army and his faulty estimate of the terrain neutral- 
ized each other. 

This victory brought Grant, after another three months' 
period for digestion and assimilation of his experience, to 
Washington and to the assignment to command all the 
armies of the United States. This put him to the supreme 
test of a military commander of his time and gave him the 
new role of planning and ordering campaigns rather than 

Circumstances combined to render this role easy for him. 
His loyal and trusted friend, Sherman, in command of all 
the troops in the western theater of war, required, as Grant 
saw it, only to be told what to do and when to do it, not how 
to do it. This confidence in Sherman saved him the error 
of attempting to prescribe details for the campaigns at a 
distance from himself, an error which Napoleon fell into and 
which was one of the main factors of his ultimate ruin. 
Armies of a half million men are not to be commanded that 
way with good results. Grant had a further advantage in 
writing a directive for Sherman, in that he was personally 
acquainted with all important parts of the western theater 
from the mouth of the Mississippi to the Alleghanies, had 
had Sherman with him most of the time, and knew Sher- 
man's ideas and what he could do. 

As regards the plan of campaign for the more important 
eastern army, Grant had the advantage of being able to 
appreciate and to be guided by President Lincoln's sound 
strategic ideas as I have pointed out in a previous paper. ^ 

In determining his own location as commander of all the 
armies Grant's experience in the West enabled him to decide 

' "President Lincoln as War Statesman," in Wisconsin Historical Society Proceedings^ 
1916, 106-40. 


Colonel Arthur L. Conger 

correctly to accompany in the campaign the Army of the 
Potomac. His relationship to that army, however, was a 
more difficult problem for him and one the solution of which 
it took a month's bloody experience to teach. His experi- 
ence with the Army of the Cumberland, which he had so 
strongly and unnecessarily antagonized at Chattanooga, had 
taught him the danger of hurting the pride or prestige of 
the Army of the Potomac by removing Meade, but he did 
hurt it in other ways. His first conception of his relation- 
ship to Meade was that of a superior mentor and guide. He 
began the campaign of 1864 in Virginia with a quite proper 
directive, along parallel lines to his directive to Sherman. 
But when, during the first day of the Wilderness fight he 
saw the battle going as any woods fight has always gone and 
probably always will go, as he had seen Donelson and 
Shiloh go, he lost his balance and without justification began 
to hector and to irritate Meade, Meade's staff, and Meade's 
army, and, further, to divide with him the tactical control 
and responsibility for the battle. But that action by itself 
was not the worst phase of Grant's conduct. By mixing 
in Meade's business he was not only compromising the 
fighting power of the army he had chosen to accompany but 
was neglecting his own straight-forward military duty. 
This duty, as the military man views it today, and as Grant, 
himself, later in the campaign learned to view it, was to be 
able to tell Meade after the battle what to do next. 

It was not decisive for the war whether the battle of the 
Wilderness was lost, won, or drawn; but it was virtually 
causative of prolonging the war another year that Grant, 
instead of at once solving his own problem and being able 
to tell Meade immediately at the conclusion of the battle 
what course to pursue next, required twenty-four hours to 
disentangle his own mind and extricate his staff from inter- 
fering in Meade's affairs sufficiently to enable him to formu- 
late the next directive. 

The Military Education of Grant as General 257 

The decision itself, based on his Vicksburg lesson, was 
correct, but Grant was here opposed, not to the lumbering 
Pemberton but to the nimble-witted Lee, himself trained as 
Grant was trained by two years of practical work. The con- 
sequence of this tardiness of decision and orders was that 
Lee was able to anticipate Grant's next move on Spotsyl- 
vania and to defeat his purpose. Very different would have 
been the result had Grant been ready to give his decision 
on the evening of the second day's battle instead of the eve- 
ning following; the strategic situation of the two armies 
would then have been reversed, all in Grant's favor. 

As the campaign progresses we see Grant learning his 
own proper role and doing his own proper work, leaving 
Meade and his staff to do his; and as Grant learned to do 
this he gained the power to outwit Lee, notably in the cross- 
ing of the James. But unfortunately the process of dis- 
entangling himself and his staff from the immediate control 
of the Army of the Potomac proved as costly in casualties 
and as bitter in consequences as the original intermeddling 
had been. The mixing in by Grant had led Meade and his 
subordinates to expect from him direct interference and 
positive tactical orders; consequently when Grant settled 
back after Spotsylvania and confined himself more and more 
to his own appropriate sphere of directives, Meade was slow 
to reassume full control and made the natural error of 
continuing to interpret Grant's directives as positive orders. 
It was this error which caused the unjustifiable slaughter 
at Cold Harbor which resulted in the final weakening of 
the temper and clouding of the prestige of the Army of the 
Potomac. The immediate responsibility for it was Meade's ; 
but in the ultimate the blame is Grant's for not making clear 
to Meade the change in his conception of tlieir relationship. 
In his Memoirs Grant rightly assumes responsibility for 
the failure and the losses. 

Here then at Cold Harbor stands a man, forty-two years 
of age, who, in as complete a course of two years and a half 


Colonel Arthur L, Conger 

on the conduct of military operations as was ever offered at 
a military staff college, has finally taken his last examination 
and been graduated as proficient in the conduct of a brigade, 
division, corps, army, and group of armies. 

The comparisons suggested between the empirical meth- 
ods of Grant's military education and those means whereby 
the younger officer is now taught the same vital lessons of 
tactics in the school of the line and the staff college have 
doubtless raised in the reader's mind at least two questions: 
First, would a staff college graduate, had there been one, 
have been able to do with the Northern armies in 1861 what 
Grant did with them in 1864? Second, was it our staff college 
graduates who won the war with Germany for us? 

I cannot in answering these two questions give any as- 
surance that any staff college graduate placed in McClellan's 
shoes in 1861 would necessarily have done any better than 
did McClellan; nor can I state with confidence that the staff 
college graduate won the late war any more than the non- 
graduate. Both won it. I might, for example, name non- 
school-trained officers who rose in action brilliantly and 
deservedly, one from brigade, one from regimental com- 
mander, both to the grade of corps commander, and who 
needed no mentors as to how to exercise command. I might 
also cite as examples three staff college graduates who rose 
from the grade of colonel to command divisions and who 
would have gone farther had the war lasted longer. But, 
in the usual case, the graduate of the staff college had not 
enough rank at the outset to become a general and was there- 
fore put on the general staff and assigned to some general 
either as chief of staff or in some other capacity. Then the 
result depended on how the two worked together and on the 
actual thoroughness with which the staff college man had 
mastered his lessons. Many generals who had such gradu- 
ates as chiefs of staff', but who failed to learn how to make 
use of them, also failed to make progress in action and were 

The Military Education of Grant as General 259 

weeded out ruthlessly by those higher up, who demanded 
constant success. Other generals having graduates as chiefs 
of staff leaned on them too confidently, only to find them 
broken reeds, and in such cases both the general and the 
chief of staff were often, to use the soldier phrase, "canned" 
at the same time. 

The enviable professional opportunities afforded the 
lower-ranking staff graduate, when assigned to a general who 
could appreciate his ability, may be illustrated by the half 
joking, half serious remarks exchanged one evening between 
two generals of high rank. They were dining together in 
France shortly before the armistice with only their respec- 
tive chiefs of staff present. 

*T wonder," said the older general to the younger, **if 
you have one of those chiefs of staff, like mine, who tells you 
everything to do, where to go, and what to say." 

"Yes, I have," replied the other, "I never did anything 
he did not tell me to do but once, and I never cease to shud- 
der over the muddle I got into that time!" 

In the case of those two generals and in that of many 
others success and fame came to them through finding a 
staff college graduate who had mastered his art and was not 
only willing but eager to grasp the opportunity to practice 
it, perfectly content that his general should get the popular 
credit for it and anxious only that the work should be well 
done. The real people, he was aware, those on the inside, 
knew who was doing the work, who was really responsible, 
and the others did not matter. 

This resulted in a situation somewhat akin to that which 
existed in the former German army in which princes and 
kings were titular heads of corps and armies, while highly 
trained, trusted, and tried staff officers did their work. The 
German Crown Prince in 1870, for example, though nom- 
inally an army commander, was in reality a mere puppet in 
the hands of his chief of staff, and the Crown Prince in the 


Colonel Arthur L. Conger 

recent war was the same. It is evident that so long as we 
continue to pursue the poHcy of regarding higher appoint- 
ments in the army as rewards to be given for poHtical serv- 
ices rendered, such a system is not only inevitable but de- 
sirable for us also. The system has its drawbacks, however, 
for if some high-ranking general gets a young and conceited 
general staff chief who does not really know very much but 
who thinks that he does it makes for trouble all the way up 
and down the line. 

There was plenty of friction from such causes in our army 
in France. Of our staff college men serving in staff posi- 
tions, from the highest down to the division, the lowest unit 
which has a general staff, we may say that some made "ex- 
cellent," some merely "good," some only "fair." Other 
staff college men failed utterly, both as staff officers and as 
commanders. In such cases it was not a failure of knowl- 
edge so much as of character; they simply had not the requi- 
site stamina. 

In other words there is no more assurance that any par- 
ticular officer passed through the staff college will come out a 
competent military leader than there is that anyone who 
passed through Grant's experiences in 1861-62 would de- 
velop the talent to conduct successfully a Vicksburg cam- 
paign in 1863. But tactics is to be learned, just as arith- 
metic, by doing many examples and solving many problems. 
Fortunate is the man who has the opportunity to learn his 
tactical lessons in the staff school, at the expense only of the 
sweat of his own brow, the rebukes of his instructors, and 
the anguish only of his own mind over his tactical sins and 
shortcomings as one after another they are discovered and 
held up in garish light for correction. And if happy is the 
man who can thus learn, still more fortunate is the govern- 
ment and country where proved, competent staff college 
graduates are plentiful and where they, and not the court 
favorites, are put in positions of high military responsibility. 

The Military Education of Grant as General 261 

What it cost to educate and graduate Grant in his prac- 
tical course in military art, in lives, money, and resources I 
leave it to others to calculate if they choose. For myself 
the important fact is that he was finally educated and able 
to end the war the right way for the people of the United 
States. What it now seems increasingly important for the 
people of this country to understand, as we become more 
enmeshed in world politics, is that Grant, Napoleon, Caesar, ^ 
and most others popularly regarded as inspired military 
geniuses were not geniuses at all, in the popular sense, but 
simply human beings trained and finally graduated either 
in the school of hard, actual experience or in a professional 
school presided over by a Moltke, a Foch, a Douglas Haig, 
or a Morrison. 

Our people need also to realize that in a modern war, 
against a nation fighting under leaders already trained when 
war begins, we cannot hope to win if we plan for the educa- 
tion of the military leader in our next war to take the time, 
expenditure of money, and wastage of lives, necessary to 
educate Grant. 


This study makes no pretense at being a history of 
Grant's military career; it is intended merely to serve as a 
partial interpretation of that career along tactical lines. 
The sources for it are chiefly the Official Records of the W^ar 
of the Rebellion. The biographies of Grant by Badeau, 
Coppee, King, and others all assume that that attack or de- 
fense which succeeded was therefore correct; they are, in 
other words, not written on a critical tactical basis. Grant's 
Campaign in 1864, by Major C. F. Atkinson of the British 
Army, and Colonel Willey Howell's study of the same cam- 
paign, in volume one of the Military Historian and Econ- 
omist, constitute valuable introductions to a military analy- 
sis of that campaign. In the latter volume will be found a 
study by myself of Fort Donelson. For the remainder, after 


Colonel Arthur L, Conger 

employing the Scribner series on the Civil War for orienta- 
tion purposes it is recommended that one go direct to the 
Official Records which richly repay investigation by the 
student of military history. Grant's earlier career, before 
Belmont, not touched on here, is especially interesting. The 
chief sources for it will be found in the Official Records, War 
of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. Ill, pp. 130 and 430-48 for 
the Ironton command, and pp. 452-65 for the Jefferson 
City command, and p. 141 et seq. for the Cairo command. 
See also Correspondence in Series II, Vol. I. These earlier 
reports and correspondence suffice to give a distinct, char- 
acteristic, and most agreeable picture of Grant's good quali- 
fications, his simplicity, directness, and common sense. 
Until Belmont he had not learned caution in dealing with 
superiors and associates and wrote as he thought. For the 
Belmont reports see Official Records, Series I, Vol. Ill, pp. 
266-364. For the other campaigns and battles reference 
to the General Index of the Rebellion Records (Serial num- 
ber 130) is recommended. 

Grant's Memoirs, written late in life, are psychologically 
interesting but not militarily instructive. Grant's military 
knowledge, like a foreign language learned late in life, ap- 
parently fell away from him with disuse. He forgot what he 
had done and why he did it. His own course he quite hu- 
manly sought to justify and his own role and importance 
quite as humanly to magnify, naively oblivious of the exis- 
tence of either tendency in himself. Because of lack of crit- 
ical aid in the preparation of his Memoirs they contain fre- 
quent errors of fact as well as of interpretation. 

Deborah Beaumont Martin 

Drawing near to the green island of Michilimackinac, 
the traveler sees from the deck of the lake steamer a broad, 
white path climbing a steep slope above which rise the 
ramparts and clustered dwellings of an old cantonment. 
The houses facing the parade ground are for the most part 
one and a half story buildings with dormer windows in the 
roof and a roomy pillared porch across the front entrance; 
but close to the sally port which opens on the sharp incline 
seen from below stand two low stone cottages with ground 
floor rooms and a loft above, the most primitive and modest 
of dwellings. The one located nearest the gate is the 
surgeon's quarters of old Fort Mackinac; under its shadow 
a rough boulder has been placed upon which has been 
deeply carved the inscription: ''Near this spot Dr. William 
Beaumont, U. S. A. made those experiments upon St. 
Martin which brought fame to himself and honor to Ameri- 
can medicine. Erected by the Upper Peninsular and 
Michigan State Medical Societies, June 10, 1900." 

It is one hundred years ago, in May, 1820, that Dr. 
Beaumont made his initial trip west to that remote army 
post, where he was destined to establish his reputation as 
one of the foremost physiologists of his time. Early in his 
career the young man had shown a strong bent toward 
original research; and his experience as a surgeon in the 
War of 1812 gave him exceptional opportunity to pursue 
his medical training and investigations. 

Beaumont came from a distinguished ancestry. The 
name of De Beaumont had been prominent in the annals 
of French, Norman, and English history for centuries. The 
second son of Sir Roger Beaumont stood high in the 
favor of William the Conqueror and received from the 
great soldier's bounty many emoluments in court lands and 


Deborah Beaumont Martin 

offices. It was Roger de Beaumont who was finally created 
Earl of Warwick by the Conqueror's son, William Rufus, 
about 1085. The family grew in wealth and importance 
until in 1635 it is linked with the New World across the ocean 
by the love of adventure of a certain William Beaumont 
who sailed from Great Britain in the Eliza de Lond and 
cast in his fortunes with the little New England village 
of Say brook. Later the family moved to Lebanon, Connec- 
ticut; here was born November 21, 1785, William Beaumont, 
third of the name in America. 

Beaumont grew into a determined, courageous lad, 
who early broke away from the Lebanon homestead and 
started forth to make his fortune, his first venture being 
that of teacher in the little hamlet of Champlain, New York, 
on the great Chazy River. The youth met at this time 
Dr. Pomeroy, a prominent physician of Burlington, Ver- 
mont, and it was the doctor's library and excellent advice 
that eventually decided him to begin training for his life 
work. Later Beaumont entered the office of Dr. Benjamin 
Chandler of St. Albans where in return for the instruction 
afforded him he performed many of the menial functions 
of a servant about the house and the office. Here he 
prepared powders, made pills, swept the office, kept the 
bottles clean, and assisted in operations, often through 
main force — for anesthetics in surgery had not then been 
discovered.^ The apprentice was taught the symptoms of 
disease, the crude methods of diagnosis, the art of pre- 
scription writing, and the process of cupping and bleeding, 
considered then a specific in febrile troubles. It was at this 
time that Beaumont began to keep an accurate record of 
daily events in his profession; and this little book of ready 
reference contributed largely to his success in later years. 
Another department of medicine to which careful study was 
given was that of the chemist. In the woods around Lake 

^ Jesse S. Mayer, Life and Letters of Dr. William Beaumont (St. Louis, 1912), 20. 

From an ivory miniature painted about 1830, in possession of Miss May Beaumont 

of Green Bay 

Doctor William Beaumont 


Champlain grew many useful herbs and medicinal plants 
and shrubs. From these Beaumont learned to extract the 
chemical elements and became skillful in the apothecary's 

When war with England was declared in 1812, William 
Beaumont immediately enlisted as Surgeon's Mate; his 
diary gives an interesting account of the methods pursued 
in the treatment of wounds and army epidemics. The 
forests around Plattsburgh, where the troops were quartered, 
swarmed with infections of all kinds; typhoid and erysipelas, 
fever and ague, lung and throat troubles, and the Surgeon's 
Mate gained much practical experience in the successful 
treatment of these disorders. At the battle of Plattsburgh 
Beaumont received recognition from the United States 
government for distinguished service; at the war's close he 
resigned from the army and took up general practice in 
Plattsburgh. Here he had already met his future wife, 
Mrs. Deborah Green Piatt, a lovely young widow, and the 
daughter of Friend Israel Green and wife Sarah. Mrs. 
Piatt had been active in caring for the sick and wounded 
during the occupation of Plattsburgh; and Surgeon Beau- 
mont had fallen deeply in love long before the war closed. 
Although a staunch Quaker and therefore opposed to war. 
Friend Israel was also intensely patriotic and aided in every 
way possible the Yankee forces, his inn, known as * 'Israel 
Green's Tavern" being a center for loyal meetings. 

In 1820 Dr. Beaumont re-entered army service and was 
immediately assigned for duty at the frontier post of 
Fort Mackinac. The trip west proved novel and full of 
interest to the physician's keen mind. From Plattsburgh 
the steamboat Congress carried passengers to Burlington, 
then a stagecoach conveyed them to Whitesburg, four miles 
from Utica, where connection was made with the Erie 
Canal, at that time in course of construction. Embarking 
on a "Western Canal" boat, as it was called, Beaumont 


Deborah Beaumont Martin 

proceeded through the big ditch to Macedonia, seven miles 
from Auburn. "A more useful and stupendous work could 
not have been conceived, planned and put into execution" 
writes the Doctor in his notebook; ''Nothing can be pleas- 
anter than to pass through the canal in the passage boats, 
for you have nothing to disturb the pleasant feeling, being 
perfectly safe from any apprehension of danger, gliding 
smoothly along upon the surface of still water, at the 
rate of five miles and through a most delightful country." 
At Canandaigua the Reverend Dr. Jedidiah Morse and 
son boarded the stage coach to which Beaumont had been 
transferred and from that time on were his traveling com- 
panions to Mackinac. From there Dr. Morse pursued his 
journey to Green Bay, in order to make his report to the 
United States government on the Indian tribes of the 

The first glimpse of Fort Mackinac in 1820 was a differ- 
ent scene from the up-to-date crowded summer resort that 
the place has since become; yet even today when one puts 
off from St. Ignace and sees the dim shape of an island rise 
from the blue waters of Lake Huron the sense of something 
mysterious and elusive controls the vision. Cloudy, hump- 
backed, its head reaching toward the straits of Mackinac, 
the Great Turtle Island of Indian myth and legend still 
holds in its misty depths the promise of adventure and 
romance. When William Beaumont first looked upon it 
from the deck of the steamer Walk in the Water that May 
day in 1820, winter was still only a month in retrospect, and 
the winds that blew from the ice fields on Lake Superior 
chilled the traveler and made him homesick for the more 
genial shores of Lake Champlain. The ruins of old Fort 
Mackinac on the mainland were still to be seen, and St, Ig- 
nace, straggling along its horseshoe bay, held unrecognized 
below the altar of its bark-covered mission chapel the body 
of the revered Father Marquette. 

Doctor William Beaumont 


Fort Mackinac the Doctor found well garrisoned, the 
surgeon's department poorly equipped but with a promise 
of more generous supplies later. The French village fring- 
ing the shore consisted of a group of shaggy bark-covered 
cabins, warm and snug in winter with great stone fireplaces 
and chimney — a clean whitewashed dwelling, where hospi- 
tality reigned, but not as gay socially as its fur trading 
neighbor, La Baye, whose habitants, free from religious 
restraint, were noted for their love of sport and lavish 
entertaining, where the fiddle led a merry dance in which 
young and old joined. Dr. Morse preached in the little 
Protestant mission church near the beach and speedily 
introduced Beaumont to the strict Presbyterian set to 
which many of the American families belonged, among 
them the Scotchman, Robert Stuart, one of the trio con- 
trolling the American Fur Company. 

The three leading men in the American Fur Company 
in 1820 were, first, its founder and president, John Jacob 
Astor, *'the old Tyger," as he was genially apostrophised 
in fur trading letters, head and front of the enterprise, 
but who very rarely visited his western posts, or gave 
personal supervision to his extensive, far reaching monopoly. 
Astor remained in New York directing the great industry, 
while his captains, Ramsay Crooks and Robert Stuart, were 
directly in the field, making contracts with French engages, 
establishing and equipping "Jackknife posts" from Macki- 
nac to St. Anthony, meeting and enlisting as agents the in- 
dependent French and English traders at Green Bay and 
other points, drawing them into the meshes of the fur trad- 
ing monopoly. Crooks in particular was a master at Indian 
diplomacy, easy-going, apparently, but sharp as a razor in 
concluding a bargain, with experience and keen insight into 
the intricate buying and selling of Indian supplies, and in 
knowledge of every pelt's commercial worth. Stuart was a 
Scotch Presbyterian, strict to the letter in religious duties, 


Deborah Beaumont Martin 

but hot-tempered and impatient, to whom the easy-going 
French voyageur, with his love of drink and idle ways, was a 
constant exasperation. In 1832 Stuart wrote to Morgan L. 
Martin, at that period delegate to the territorial legislature 
at Detroit, asking that he use his influence in having the 
whipping post reinstated, as he believed it the only possible 
method of holding in check these unruly servants of the 
company. The whipping post remained obsolete, however, 
possibly because Stuart's use of it was not considered 
humane; so he was forced to content himself with cudgeling 
the unfortunate engages with the result that the garrison 
surgeon at Mackinac reports frequent calls to mend broken 
pates and much-bruised bodies. 

The American Fur Company was the only rival of the 
American fort in local importance; but the commanding 
oflScer at the garrison ranked even the head of the Astor 
monopoly in influence and the enforcement of strict disci- 
pline. Dr. Beaumont secured permission from the Surgeon 
General to practice in Mackinac village, there being no other 
physician west of Detroit, and immediately began to inven- 
tory and reconstruct his medical equipment; especially was 
he interested in arranging for a large garden in connection 
with the hospital in order that his patients should not suffer 
for lack of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. 

The newly-installed surgeon's first clash with army 
authority came because of this same fine hospital garden. 
The officer in charge of the Indian department. Colonel 
George Boyd, belonged to one of the most distinguished 
families of Virginia; his acceptance of the post of Indian 
agent at Fort Mackinac was largely the result of a love of ad- 
venture and the prospect of sharp brushes with his Indian i 
wards. The inventory of household furnishings brought by 
the Boyds to this remote lake post seems almost incredible 
when one considers the difficulties attending their transport 
from Virginia or an eastern town. Just previous to Beau-' 

Doctor William Beaumont 


months arrival Colonel Boyd had planned a large and com- 
fortable dwelling in which to house the Indian agency and its 
handsome belongings. The building was to be erected in the 
midst of the government garden, a space barely large enough 
to furnish vegetables for the garrison and especially the hos- 
pital. Much time and labor had been expended by the sol- 
diers in cultivating the stony soil and Dr. Beaumont's 
protests against the injustice of covering this hardly won 
plot of ground with buildings were loud and emphatic. Ho 
finally appealed to the War Department, as the Colonel 
still persisted in his determination to have the land, and 
proved that not only would the sick of the garrison suffer 
for green food but also that by the curtailment of garden 
space valuable herbs and plants needed for medical treat- 
ment could not be cultivated. The War Department paid 
heed to the clever physician's statement of the case, and 
the garrison garden was left undisturbed. The Agency 
house, which Colonel Boyd was forced to locate elsewhere, 
was for many years the most important dwelling on Macki- 
nac Island outside of the fort buildings; around it cluster 
many romantic tales of love and war. The story of *'Anne" 
has its most charming scenes staged in the old Agency house. 
It burned many years ago ; the site it occupied is now a park 
in the center of which stands the statue of Father Mar- 
quette, by Trentenove. 

In the summer of 1821 Beaumont applied for leave of 
absence and went east to marry Deborah Green; on their 
return the pair went to housekeeping in the surgeon's quar- 
ters in the quaint stone house on the hill. It is an interest- 
ing dwelling and was doubtless a delightful one a hundred 
years ago, when presided over by Mrs. William Beaumont, a 
charming personality and a notable housekeeper and home- 
maker. The house is built into the side of the hill, so that 
the second story is flush with the parade ground, whik^ the 
doors and windows of the basement open on the slope below. 


Deborah Beaumont Martin 

There is a platform leading to the lower door; rough pillars 
support an upper porch, from which is the most glorious 
view imaginable of blue water reaching to the horizon, 
groups of islands in the distance, and in the foreground the 
wide straits of Mackinac filled with shipping, and the island's 
one huddled street at the foot of the hill. The house is being 
gradually fitted up as a museum and is to be furnished as 
nearly as possible in the period when it was owned by the 

The opportunity of a lifetime came to the physician on 
June 6, 1822, when a French engage, Alexis St. Martin, 
lounging in the store of the American Fur Company was ac- 
cidentally shot by one of his companions, the muzzle of the 
gun being not over three feet away. The post surgeon, Dr. 
Beaumont, was immediately sent for and found on exami- 
nation "that the powder and duck shot had entered poste- 
riorly and in an oblique direction forward and inward, liter- 
ally blowing off the integuments and muscles for several 
inches in circumference, fracturing and carrying away the 
anterior half of the sixth rib, fracturing the fifth, lacerating 
the lower portion of the left lobe of the lungs, as well as the 
diaphragm on the left side and perforating the stomach.''* 
Although Dr. Beaumont after dressing the wound told 
Robert Stuart that the man would probably not live thirty- 
six hours, yet by exercising all his skill in the treatment of 
the terrible wound he was able to report on June 6, 1823, 
one year from the day of the accident, that "the injured 
parts are sound and firmly cicatrized, with the exception of 
an aperture in the stomach and side." It was through this 
opening in the stomach that the action of the gastric juice 
on food could be followed, and in the month of May, 1825, 
Beaumont commenced his first series of gastric experiments, 
St. Martin having then perfectly recovered his health and 

2 William Beaumont, Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice and the Physiol- 
ogy of Digestion (Plattsburg, 1837). 

Doctor William Beaumont 


The experiments were carried on in the surgeon's quar- 
ters and were progressing successfully, when in June of that 
same year the Doctor was ordered from Mackinac to Fort 
Niagara, New York. In order to continue his investigations 
he persuaded St. Martin to accompany him. However, the 
close proximity to Canada proved too strong a temptation 
to the young French Canadian and on the first opportunity 
he ran away and joined his relatives across the border. 

From that time on the hold of Dr. Beaumont upon the 
irresponsible Frenchman was only intermittent. It is said 
that the jeers of his fellow voyageurs on the "window in his 
stomach" was one cause for his unreliability. For although 
Dr. Beaumont had brought him literally from the dead, as 
he acknowledged, and had shown him every kindness, yet 
the notoriety and curiosity excited among his own people, 
combined with the tiresomeness of the unending experi- 
ments, proved decidedly distasteful to the lively youth of 

No trace of Alexis was gained for several years. In the 
spring of 1826 Dr. Beaumont, while on duty at Fort Niagara, 
was ordered *'to be in readiness to accompany the troops 
from Sackett's Harbor and Niagara to Green Bay and to 
have all medical supplies under his charge carefully packed 
for transportation." In his reply he states that he will be 
prepared at the appointed time and requests permission **to 
prescribe for the citizens of Green Bay whenever necessity 
requires it, they being entirely dependent upon army sur- 
geons for medical aid and assistance." Beaumont's taking 
time by the forelock in securing a permit for practice was 
because of the rigid enforcement by Surgeon General Lovell 
of the army regulation which forbade medical officers of the 
corps to engage in private practice while on duty. This 
regulation came into existence in 1814, but not until Lovell 
became Surgeon General was its enforcement insisted upon. 
Permission was, however, accorded Dr. Beaumont; and 

Deborah Beaumont Martin 

later General Lovell explained that his arbitrary ruling was 
"not intended to prevent acts of humanity on the part of 
surgeons, but simply to prevent neglect of duty by entering 
extremely into it (private practice) as well as an improper 
application of public property." 

Beaumont's detachment got promptly under way; and 
on June 18, 1826, the Surgeon reports from Fort Howard, 
"Hospital entirely destitute of every means of comfort save 
med cines" and urges that the hospital equipment from 
Sackett's Harbor be transferred to Green Bay. This re- 
quest was granted, as were indeed most of the Doctor's calls 
for aid from the War Department, for his reputation for 
professional integrity and uprightness was well established, 
and he immediately proceeded to reorganize the medical de- 
partment at Fort Howard with the same dispatch that he 
had shown at Mackinac, putting everything in better and 
more efficient condition. 

Fort How^ard had been built for the most part just after 
the arrival of the American troops on August 7, 1816. All 
the construction work was done by the soldiers, the uprights 
and joists being sawed out by whipsaw; however, John Lawe 
owned a primitive sawmill at that time, as did also Pierre 
Grignon, so lumber for the buildings could be obtained from 
these villagers at what was considered a ruinous price. The 
cantonment was enclosed by a high stockade; surrounding 
the parade ground were the barracks, officers' quarters, 
blockhouses, and other buildings; in fact the Inspector 
General who yearly visited the frontier forts during the 
twenties reports that the soldiers are constantly employed 
in constructing new dwellings and in adding little shops, 
bakehouses, smokehouses, dog houses, and stables, practi- 
cally a complete village. 

Outside the pickets were placed the hospital and the 
Surgeon's quarters, while the supply warehouse and Quar- 
termaster's quarters were in a large building, also without 


Doctor William Beaumont 


the fort, close to the edge of Fox River and convenient to the 
boat landing. Until a short time ago the foundation of the 
old warehouse could be plainly traced; but the building, 
strongly timbered and in excellent condition after its occu- 
pation of more than seventy years, was taken down during 
the eighties and carried by Hiram Cornell to Valentine, Ne- 
braska, where for a time it was used as the county court- 
house. The government inspector in one of his reports - 
speaks of the danger and inconvenience of thus isolating the 
hospital and warehouse outside the stockade. There was 
always the possibility of an Indian outbreak, when it was 
necessary to have the ordnance supplies immediately ac- 
cessible; moreover with the hospital so far away the escape 
of convalescents to the neighboring village was a constant 

Dr. Beaumont's efforts to improve conditions succeeded 
admirably; in 1827 the report reads, "Hospital well provided 
with medicines, instruments and stores." The year follow- 
ing the government inspector writes: "Fort Howard, June, 
1828. Hospital: The building wants some repairs and al- 
terations to render it secure against rain and more conveni- 
ent. Assistant Surgeon Beaumont acts, as is invariably 
the case with the officers of the Medical Department, with 
an exclusive eye to the comfort of the sick. In looking 
through the several rooms my attention was called to the 
medical library, which as to number of volumes appears well 
enough, but furnishes very little variety, the catalogue 
stands thus. Bell on venerial 7 copies, Cooper's Surgery 3, 
Dispensatory 2, Dorsey 2, Dr. Rush 8, Sydenham 1, Dr. 
Rush and Prindle 1, Dr. and Surgeons Vade Mecum 8, 
Thomas Practice 4. In addition to the few standard works 
now furnished the best medical journals and most approved 
treatises on mineralogy and botany are much wanted at all 
the frontier posts. The first that it may be in the power of 
the insulated medical gentlemen to kecj) pace with the im- 


Deborah Beaumont Martin 

proveinents and discoveries that are daily taking place in the 
science of medicine, and the latter as books of reference 
(without which Mitchell himself would be frequently at 
fault) to enable them to report with confidence and correctly 
upon the mineralogical and botanical wealth of their several 
districts. I submit it to the Surgeon General whether or not 
the government could be a loser by even the most liberal 
appropriation toward this purpose. Of surgical instruments 
to include amputating, trepanning and pocket there are per- 
haps 1 dozen setts, not one of which is fit for use in the opin- 
ion of Surgeon Beaumont, who looked over them with me. 
(By an order from the head of the Dep't they will be sent to 
New York for repairs.) An idea has been suggested to me 
which if carried into effect might save the government a por- 
tion of the present expense in furnishing instruments, and 
besides many an unfortunate the added torture of a dull 
knife. Let every surgeon and ass't surgeon be provided by 
the government with complete setts of instruments for his 
own use exclusively during his continuance in service, and 
for which he shall be held individually responsible. Hold- 
ing his instruments under such a tenure I am persuaded that 
there is not a medical gentleman of the army who would not 
take more care of them (careful though he may now be) than 
he would of those received after the present mode, of a pre- 
decessor to be held for a time, and then to be turned over 
with steward, cook and all to a successor in office."^ 

It will be seen by this report that Dr. Beaumont left his 
imprint upon Fort Howard as at Mackinac in securing added 
eflSciency in the medical corps, and his suggestions for im- 
provement made to the Inspector at Fort Howard were of 
permanent value in securing prompt action from the War 
Department. Meantime his notes recording his experiments 
on St. Martin had been published in 1826, in the Medical 

* Manuscript reports of inspections of Northwestern posts, in War Department, 

Doctor William Beaumont 


Journal^ and had caused much discussion and comment in 
scientific societies. St. Martin had never been recaptured; 
but rumors had reached Dr. Beaumont that he was still in 
Canada and had enlisted as a voyageur in the great Hudson's 
Bay Fur Company. While Beaumont was at Fort Howard, 
in addition to stirring up laggards in government circles and 
establishing a remarkable reputation for skill in his profes- 
sion among the village folk in the Fox River Valley, he also 
wrote to his Mackinac friends urging them to be constantly 
on the lookout for St. Martin. In the latter part of the 
year 1827 "the Doctor's ungrateful boy" was finally traced 
and communicated with, the surgeon immediately sending 
money for the transportation of the French voyageur and 
his wife to Green Bay. 

It was not until 1829 that St. Martin was finally captured 
and brought to Fort Crawford, Prairie du Chien, where 
Surgeon Beaumont was then stationed. Here the experi- 
ments were begun anew; between December 6, 1829 and 
April 9, 1831 fifty-six were recorded. Beaumont notes in 
his account book that he paid St. Martin 800 livres annually 
($160) and in addition clothed and subsisted him and his 
family. This income was so far in advance of any remun- 
eration received from the fur companies that the Doctor was 
able to hold the wandering youth for a year and a half to his 
distasteful occupation. In 1833 the first edition of ''Beau- 
mont's Experiments" was published." 

< On October 19, 1832 articles of agreement were signed between Dr. William Beau- 
mont and Alexis St. Martin, whereby "the said Alexis did for the term of one year covenant 
to 'diligently faithfully and to the utmost of his power skill and knowledge* perform such 

service. . . as the said William shall from time to time order and likewise be 

just and true and faithful to the said William in all things and in all respects." The 
Doctor was at this time given a six months' furlough, which he planned to sjicnd abroad, 
but later determined to pass in Washington City, where he was unhampered by routine 
duties, was surrounded by books and men of note in medicine law and diplomacy, and had 
Alexis St. Martin at his beck and call. Surgeon General Lovell, in order to make lighter 
the burdens of Dr. Beaumont, on whom Alexis was constantly making demands beyond 
the terms of their agreement, used his influence to have St. Martin made a sergeant of a 
detachment stationed at the War Department in Washington, he receiving payment for 
his services at the rate of $12 per month, an allowance of $2.50 per montli for clothing 
and ten cents per day for subsistence. 


Deborah Beaumont Martin 

From 1826 to 1828, the years in which Beaumont was 
stationed at Fort Howard, the village of Baye Verte, as it had 
been called up to the coming of the American troops in 1816, 
comprised a straggling group of log cabins close to the 
water's edge, reaching almost continuously on both sides of 
Fox River from its mouth to the Rapides des Peres. On 
the east shore stood several more pretentious homes be- 
longing to the resident fur traders, French and English, 
agents of the American Fur Company; the De Langlade 
estate which included the group of houses belonging to 
Pierre Grignon, Judge Lawe's rambling log dwelling and 
roomy trading house, and the homes of Louis Grignon and 
Judge Jacques Porlier. In 1820 there had been a determined 
attempt to change the location of Fort Howard from the low 
and rather swampy site on which it was originally erected to 
high ground on the east side of Fox River some four miles 
from the entrance to the bay. This plan was discontinued 
within a year or so, as the river entrance, "bordered on the 
right as well as on the left with an extensive plain, open and 
nearly level, so that an enemy could not approach in any di- 
rection without being exposed to the fire of our heaviest field 
pieces from the Fort," was considered much stronger for 
purposes of defense, especially in Indian warfare. As immi- 
gration and settlement increased, the American families 
took possession of the houses built for army occupation on 
the east shore; and although the name *'Camp Smith" 
remains to this day as identifying the slope where old stone 
foundations crop up here and there through the soil, yet on 
the plat of the village, which the inhabitants called "Shan- 
ty town," the name of Menominee ville was bestowed by 
Judge James Duane Doty, who built the first brick house in 
Wisconsin in the little hamlet. A frame house also erected 
by the Judge, purchased by the government in 1828 for an 
Indian agency, was burned many years ago, but the ruins 

Doctor William Beaumont 


of its stone chimney can still be traced close to the river 
bank on the grounds of the Fox River Country Club. 

Dr. and Mrs. Beaumont found many friends from Macki- 
nac as well as from eastern towns already settled in the vil- 
lage. Intercourse between the garrison and the French and 
American villagers was constant, and so delightful and con- 
genial was this society, that the enthusiasm of the Beau- 
monts who enjoyed so much their stay at this frontier post in 
Wisconsin, proved an incentive to a colony of some thirty 
Plattsburghers to emigrate thither. When in 1828 Dr. 
Beaumont received orders to join the Fifth Regiment at 
Fort Crawford, he left Fort Howard with sincere regret. 

Green Bay was the central rendezvous for many power- 
ful Indian tribes. Large bands of Menominee, Winnebago, 
Potawatomi, and Chippewa camped for a large part of the 
year along Fox River and neighboring streams. Many of 
these tribes were quarrelsome and insolent, ready to pick a 
quarrel on slight occasion, for since the evacuation of Fort 
Edward Augustus by the English in 1763, they had been 
without any recognized authority over them and were dis- 
posed to be contemptuous of American domination. Judge 
Doty, writing from Menominee ville in 1825, describes the 
place as being known **only as the seat of Indian wars." 
The dread of an Indian outbreak sat lightly, however, upon 
the gay garrison community at Fort Howard, until the Red 
Bird tragedy in 1827 startled the inhabitants into sudden 
terror. Dr. Beaumont accompanied the detachment under 
Colonel Whistler to Fort Winnebago and witnessed the 
dramatic surrender of Red Bird. The Black Hawk W^ar was 
also an event in Dr. Beaumont's Wisconsin life, in wliich he 
was an active participant, not as a military commander, 
but as chief director in the "cholera campaign'' as the 
Indian raid in years following was named in army circles. 
The disease was brought west by the troops under General 
Scott, who was detailed to distant Wisconsin in order to 


Deborah Beaumont Martin 

quell the Winnebago uprising. All through the summer of 
1832 the cholera raged through the villages and garrisons 
along the Mississippi and Green Bay. Dr. Beaumont was 
then stationed at Fort Crawford and did wonderful service 
in caring for the terrified inhabitants and in sending to Fort 
Howard and other badly stricken districts formulas and 
methods of treatment. "The greater proportional numbers 
of deaths in the cholera epidemics," he records, "are, in my 
opinion, caused more by fright and presentiment of death 
than from the fatal tendency or violence of the disease." 
But whatever the cause, the fatality was great, especially in 
Green Bay, where the "Sisters of Poor Clare" under the 
guidance of the well-known Catholic priest. Father Maz- 
zuchelli, went from house to house tending the sick and even 
burying the dead. 

During the Green Bay land sales of 1834, Dr. Beaumont 
purchased in Navarino, as the northern half of the city was 
called prior to 1838, property on which was built the Wash- 
ington House, just across the river from the fort, and a 
famous rendezvous for the young officers. On the site of 
the old Washington House Mrs. Deborah Beaumont and her 
son Israel Green Beaumont built and fitted out the Beau- 
mont House in 1863. This was a very fine modern building 
and through successive lessees gained a wide reputation as 
one of the best hostelries in the West. During recent years 
it has been remodeled; but much of the original brick out- 
side walls are practically unchanged ; and it still remains the 
leading hotel in Green Bay. Large properties were also 
purchased by Dr. Beaumont in other parts of Wisconsin 
Territory, as is proved through the recorded appointment 
preserved in the State Historical Library, of Nelson Dewey 
of Cassville, Grant County, as the lawful attorney of Wil- 
liam and Deborah Beaumont. Dewey, afterward governor 
of Wisconsin, was in 1856 given a power of attorney by Mrs. 
Beaumont and her son to sell and take complete manage- 

Doctor William Beaumont 


ment of all lands owned by them "in the counties of Grant, 
Lafayette, and Iowa in the State of Wisconsin." When 
Israel Beaumont came of age he was sent by his father to 
Green Bay to look after his landed interests, married a Green 
Bay girl, Miss Julia Pelton, and eventually made the place 
his home. 

The Fort Howard hospital building and surgeon's quar- 
ters, where Dr. Beaumont showed the Government Inspector 
his medical library on that summer day in 1828, are both still 
standing in Green Bay; it is planned to have the hospital, 
which is in excellent preservation and a most interesting 
building, permanently preserved and filled with relics of 
early garrison days. For fourteen years Dr. Beaumont was 
closely identified with the Northwest; and his celebrated 
experiments were conducted first at Fort Mackinac, and 
later at Fort Crawford, Prairie du Chien, while the notes and 
memoranda for his famous book were largely arranged while 
he was at Fort Howard. In 1835 he took up his permanent 
residence in St. Louis, first as post surgeon at Jefferson 
Barracks and, after his resignation from the army, as practic- 
ing physician in the city, but he still kept in constant touch 
with his Green Bay relations and friends. His reputation 
among the French inhabitants for skill and kindly dealing 
was widespread. For many years after he left Fort Howard 
tales of "Le bon docteur who mak' de meracle'' were rife 
among the voyageurs of La Baye. Dr. Beaumont was the 
first physician to introduce vaccination in order to check 
the smallpox plague in the Fox River Valley; writing to 
Surgeon General Lovell in 1827 for the virus he says, **The 
importance as well as necessity of having it on hand in a 
country like this, subject at all times to the incursion of 
smallpox, from the continual passing and repassing of wan- 
dering Indians and Canadian voyageurs, will doubtless be 
appreciated.'' The Doctor urges that the vaccine be sent 
before the closing of navigation, as during the winter months 


Deborah Beaumont Martin 

Fort Howard was practically cut off from the outside world, 
and it was at that season that the scourge of smallpox was 
most violent. Mail was delivered by a soldier from Detroit 
only twice in six months and it was a hazardous undertaking 
in winter when the trail through dense forests was infested 
by packs of wolves. 

The Surgeon's family while he was stationed at Fort 
Howard comprised his wife and two children, Sarah born at 
Mackinac, and Lucretia, born at the Green Bay garrison, 
July 26, 1827. The youngest child, Israel, was born at Fort 
Crawford in 1829. The Beaumont's cozy quarters at Fort 
Howard were a favorite assemblage place for the residents 
of the garrison and it is recalled that on winter afternoons in- 
timate friends met there, while Mrs. Beaumont read aloud 
the novels of Scott and Cooper, or gave a play of Shakes- 
peare's which it is said she did excellently well, although 
with her Quaker principles she never entered a theater. 

The Beaumont homestead in Green Bay is filled with 
treasures inherited from the handsome St. Louis residence. 
Above the beautiful old sideboard hangs a portrait of Mrs. 
Deborah Green Beaumont, painted by Chester Harding; 
its companion picture of the noted surgeon has been placed 
in the memorial room in Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, which 
is dedicated to Dr. William Beaumont, of the United States 

W. A. Titus 


111 fares the land, to hastening ills a prey. 
Where wealth accumulates and men decay. 

The pioneer days of Wisconsin, when stalwart men and 
brave women were reared amid surroundings of poverty and 
hardship, are now remembered only by the oldest of our 
people; and ere long history alone can tell the story of the 
reclamation of the wilderness, so bravely begun by the set- 
tlers of four score years ago. With this thought, it becomes 
a pleasure to hear from the lips of men still living the early 
story of a locality that has given the flower of its manhood 
to Wisconsin and to America. 

About fourteen miles southwest of Manitowoc, in the 
township of Meeme, is situated the inconspicuous hamlet 
designated on the county maps as Osman, but known in the 
early days as Meeme Post Office. It is today the center of 
a rich agricultural district but makes no claim to importance 
except as it retains the two institutions, the church and the 
public school, that helped to mold real men and women a 
generation or more ago. 

The Meeme settlement, as it was called, centered around 
the Catholic church known as St. Isadore's and the public 
school. It embraced a portion of the townships of Meeme, 
Newton, and Liberty. The first settlers were largely natives 
of Ireland; and Meeme was commonly known as the *Trish 
settlement." With the birthright of native ability and the 
fullest use of their scanty educational opportunities the sons 
of these Irish pioneers made their names known and their 
influence felt far beyond the borders of their restricted lo- 
cality in eastern Wisconsin. 

* I gladly acknowledge my obligation to Henry Mulholland Jr. of Alanitowoo and 
M. V. Sullivan of Fond du Lac for the data upon which this article is based. 


W. A. Titus 

Meeme is said to mean **pigeon" in the Chippewa Indian 
language; and the name was probably apphed because there 
was in the vicinity an extensive wild pigeon roost. Henry 
MulhoUand of Manitowoc, whose father, Henry MulhoUand 
Sr., was one of the earliest settlers in the Meeme region, 
states that in his boyhood days the wild pigeons were so nu- 
merous in the vicinity as to darken the sun in their flight. 
He states further that the wild pigeons were destroyed by 
the Indians and by the early settlers in incredible numbers. 
He remembers the time when the nests were threshed from 
the trees with long poles and the young pigeons or squabs 
gathered up by the bushel by the Indians, who fried them 
in large pans to remove the oil from them. This pigeon oil 
was an article of barter and was offered by the dusky natives 
in exchange for whiskey and sometimes for the more essen- 
tial articles of food and clothing. The traders then sold it 
to the settlers for use in lamps. It is said that when whiskey 
was exchanged for oil the traders were in the habit of putting 
a quart of water in the top of the barrel for every quart of 
whiskey that was drawn out at the bottom. When this 
dilution had gone too far, the Indians would refuse to trade 
until a new barrel was tapped. 

As Meeme Post Ofiice was on the old stage road midway 
between Manitowoc and Sheboygan, all stage vehicles 
stopped at the MulhoUand home for dinner and to change 
horses. The result was that many visitors passed through 
the place ; almost any noon hour of the year found the ham- 
let enlivened by transients, often men of note from the 
cities. This was especially true in winter when there was 
no boat service between Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Upon 
the arrival of the stage the entire population was wont to 
gather at the MulhoUand tavern, there to discuss the news 
of the outside world as revealed by the Chicago papers. 

The Meeme settlement was begun in 1847-48; in a few 
years there were enough people in the community to warrant 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


the building of a log church and the opening of a public 
school in the home of John Stewart. Mr. Stewart was the 
first of a long line of teachers in this rural school which 
played so large a part in the development of the community. 
In the beginning the settlers were poor and could barely 
afford the expense of maintaining the school; however, as 
the neighborhood developed the people showed their willing- 
ness to pay the price for the best of rural schoolmasters. 
Patrick O'Shea was one of the early teachers and took 
charge of the school in 1853 or thereabouts. He had been a 
schoolmaster of high-school rank in Ireland and was equipped 
with an excellent education for his day. His knowledge 
of mathematics is said to have been remarkable. However, 
the Meeme school board hesitated to employ him because 
of his broad brogue which probably diverged widely from 
classical English. He fiinally secured the position and fully 
justified the reluctant confidence of the august body that 
had hired him. The school board at this time consisted of 
Henry MulhoUand Sr., Peter Walterbach, and Dennis Nagle. 
The last named was the father of John Nagle who in after 
years was known as an able educator and still later became 
the editor of the Manitowoc Pilot, in which capacity he at- 
tracted attention throughout the country by his philo- 
sophical editorials and other contributions. In his death, a 
few years ago, Manitowoc County lost one of its most dis- 
tinguished citizens and Wisconsin its ablest newspaper man. 
It is a coincidence that the present editor of the Manitowoc 
Pilot, E. S. Crowe, is also one of the former Meeme boys. 

Another of the teachers of the Meeme school was T. J. 
Walsh, who later went to Montana and is now United States 
Senator from that state. He is still remembered by the old- 
time residents of the district as an instructor of marked 
energy and commanding personality. One of the outstand- 
ing features of this rural school was its debating society. 
It is safe to say that the boys of the locality who later bo- 


W. A. Titus 

came conspicuously successful in business, in the professions, 
or in politics, owe their success in large measure to the train- 
ing they received in joint debates on the rostrum of the 
little schoolhouse. As the youth of this school attained the 
highest average of success of any rural district of Wisconsin, 
so was the school itself long considered the standard for 
country schools. The best teachers were always secured; 
and the matter of the salary paid was a secondary considera- 
tion. Some of our school boards of today could well find an 
object lesson in the history of the Meeme school. 

Henry Mulholland Sr. donated three acres of land from 
his farm for a church site and cemetery. In 1848 a log church 
was built on this plot; this was torn down and replaced by 
a frame structure during the period of the Civil War. This 
congregation of St. Isadore's has had a continuous history 
from 1848 to the present time; a register of its membership 
during that long period would contain many names familiar 
to the people of Wisconsin and of the entire country. 

The late Justice John Barnes of the Wisconsin Supreme 
Court was born and reared in the Meeme settlement. As a 
boy he attended the excellent rural school that was the intel- 
lectual corner stone of the community ; later on he became a 
teacher in the same school. He was graduated from the 
University of Wisconsin in 1883 and practised law until he 
was elected municipal judge in Oneida County. Later he 
was appointed a member of the Wisconsin Railroad Com- 
mission from which position he resigned in 1907 rather than 
swerve from his convictions. In 1908 he was elected to the 
Supreme Court, serving until 1916, when he resigned to be- 
come general counsel for the Northwestern Mutual Life 
Insurance Company of Milwaukee. He died in Milwaukee 
on January 1, 1919. 

Judge Michael Kirwan of Manitowoc is also a Meeme 
product who made his way to a position of honor in Wiscon- 
sin. Before he studied law he was a teacher in the rural 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


schools and superintendent of schools for Manitowoc 
County. To him and John Nagle, who was also superin- 
tendent of schools before he became an editor, is given the 
credit for having raised the standard of the rural schools of 
Manitowoc County until they attracted the attention of the 
entire state. Judge Kirwan's ability, integrity, and fitness 
for his present judicial position are matters too well known 
in eastern Wisconsin to require extended comment. 

Without detracting in any degree from the fame of the 
galaxy of brilliant men who at one time or another have 
called Meeme their home it may be said that John Nagle 
was more widely known during his lifetime than any of the 
others. Although this philosopher-essayist chose to spend 
his life and his talents in a small city on the shore of Lake 
Michigan he was born a newspaper man of metropolitan 
caliber, and his editorials and contributed articles were read 
from ocean to ocean. 

The Council family of Meeme sent out two physicians 
and surgeons: Dr. Daniel Council now of Beloit, whose 
youthful oratory in the rural school gave him the nickname 
of "Daniel O'Connell"; and Dr. J. P. Council who died 
several years ago in Fond du Lac where he had made a re- 
markable record as a successful surgeon. 

The several Taugher families of this pioneer settlement 
contributed two priests and either two or three physicians. 
One of the former, the Reverend M. J. Taugher, was for 
many years located in Fond du Lac as pastor of St. Joseph's 

One of the early-day schoolmasters at Meeme was Henry 
Mulholland Jr., who was educated at St. Francis Seminary 
near Milwaukee. Other members of the Mulholland family 
were Peter, who was a captain in the Civil War and later 
sheriff of Manitowoc County; and Dr. John Mulholland. 
Peter Mulholland died a few years after the close of the Civil 
War, his illness and death resulting from exposure during his 


W. A. Titus 

military service. Among others who learned the lesson of 
self-reliance on the Meeme farms half a century ago were Dr. 
Hays; John Carey, a well-known local politician of three or 
four decades ago; and M. V. and J. E. Sullivan, now engaged 
in business in Fond du Lac. 

The above record of illustrious sons is far from complete; 
however, it is sufficient to indicate the type of men who were 
developed in this farming community. One fact may ex- 
plain the success of these farmer boys: the Meeme settlers 
evolved the idea of making their public school a social and 
intellectual center for adults as well as for children. Good 
literature was read to the assembled people; and oratory and 
alertness were developed in the frequent debating contests 
that were a major part of the school activities. No expense 
was spared in securing for the district the best teachers 
available. As a result no rural school in Wisconsin out- 
ranked the little institution at the Meeme crossroads. It 
was a case of casting bread upon the waters and finding it 
after many days. 

William F. Whyte 

Watertown, now a staid, prosperous, and law-abiding 
community with what may be fairly called a homogeneous 
population, was during its early history rather a bustling 
place; and its inhabitants, made up of many different nation- 
alities, frequently showed a disposition to step on their neigh- 
bors' toes in ways that promoted discord and wrangling, 
and sometimes led to serious breaches of the law. 

The first settler, Timothy Johnson, was an American 
farmer of the better class of frontiersmen who came to Wis- 
consin in 1836 and settled in Watertown. There was a fall 
of twenty feet in Rock River in a space of about two miles, 
and because of this fact the village was for some time called 
Johnson's Rapids. 

Johnson was followed by the Cole brothers and James 
Rogan in 1837, and the site of Johnson's Rapids was soon 
recognized as a good location for a future city. Lying forty- 
five miles west of Milwaukee, in a country covered by dense 
forests and well watered, it soon found favor with those 
pioneers of native and foreign birth who were looking for 
homes in the primeval wilderness. As an agent of the Ger- 
man settlers from Pomerania and Brandenburg reported to 
his friends who were waiting on the shores of Lake Michigan, 
"Here in this neighborhood we have both hay and wood." 
Along with the law-abiding and industrious settlers there 
came to Johnson's Rapids, as to every newly-settled com- 
munity, men who had left the East in order to put a greater 
distance between themselves and the oflScers of the law. 

During the first two decades of its history, Watertown 
was rather notorious as the headquarters of counterfeiters 
and horse thieves. The crude red-dog money of the early- 
day banks made counterfeiting an easy task, and the diffi- 
culty of communication in the days before the existence of 
the railroad and the telegraph gave the horse thief every ad- 


William F. Whyte 

vantage of escape. I do not know whether the frequently- 
revised statutes of Wisconsin now regard horse steahng as 
such a heinous offense as our grandfathers did, but in those 
days a man who was caught red-handed got what was com- 
ing to him. Thirty years ago a poor chap stole a horse in 
Jefferson County. He repented of his sin and returned the 
animal to its owner, who was mean enough to make com- 
plaint and the offender was clapped in jail. He pleaded 
guilty at his trial, and the judge, whose memory harked back 
to pioneer days, gave him a sentence of seven years in the 
penitentiary, which was no doubt shortened by executive 

The census of 1850 showed in Wisconsin a foreign-born 
population of 106,000 against 197,000 of American birth. 
The persecution of the German religionists by the Prussian 
autocracy, together with the Revolution of 1848, drove 
thousands of Germans across the Atlantic; and the hard 
times in Ireland consequent upon the famine years, 1845-48, 
were the motive power behind the emigration of people of 
Irish nationality. Members of these two nationalities did 
not mix very well, although the large majority belonged to 
the same political party. I have never been able to com- 
prehend why the Irish emigrant, when he became an Amer- 
ican citizen, chose the Democratic party, except that in the 
days of the Whig party the name was to him a reminder of 
the oppression and tyranny which he had suffered under 
British rule. 

The German immigrants in the forties and fifties came 
from two classes: the peasant who left his native land be- 
cause he wanted freedom for his church or was attracted by 
the cheap and fertile soil of Wisconsin, and the educated 
liberal who fled from political oppression. Members of the 
former class did not bother themselves much with politics 
or political parties, but as a rule were content to follow the 
more forceful and better educated of their countrymen, who 

Chronicles of Early Watertown 


impressed on their minds that the Democratic party was the 
one to which they ought to declare their allegiance. The 
Revolution of 1848 in Germany has been idealized by Amer- 
ican historical writers. The men who wanted to change 
Germany from an autocratic government to a democracy 
had not been educated in political science. They had lost 
the old freedom which their ancestors had cherished in the 
German forests and which their kinsmen had carried with 
them to England. Many of them, judging by those speci- 
mens who emigrated to America, were impractical men 
whose heads were full of notions which, put into practice, 
would instead of a political heaven on earth produce chaos 
in any state which they had attempted to control. They 
wanted to found a German state where they could pre- 
serve their mother tongue with all their German customs. 
A convention was held in Watertown in 1851 to consider the 
founding of such a state. It ended in talk. Shortly after, 
another convention was held to discuss the question of 
German rights. I am inclined to think that the prohibition 
question, which was being agitated in Wisconsin in the early 
fifties, had some influence on their actions. The state voted 
for prohibition in 1853, but the legislature neglected to pass 
a law enforcing the will of the people. 

Carl Schurz, at that time a resident of Watertown, was 
even then recognized as a man of extraordinary ability, but 
he did not escape being assaulted with stale eggs in Water- 
town because he was '*ein verdammte Republikaner." They 
did not expect anything but contrary opinions from many 
of the native born, but that a man of German birth should 
have the temerity to differ from them in politics was intol- 
erable. The few Republican voters in the sixth ward were 
in the habit of marching to the polls in a body for reasons 
which were strictly prudential. The fourth of July, 185*^, 
happened to fall on Sunday; as the custom always had been 
and still is, the citizens proposed to celebrate on the fiflli. 


William F. Whyte 

Not so our newly naturalized citizens. They insisted on a 
Sunday celebration. So Watertown celebrated the anniver- 
sary of our independence on two successive days. Emil 
Rothe was the Sunday orator, and the exercises were con- 
ducted wholly in the German language. On Monday there 
was another celebration, with speeches in both languages. 
The Reverend Mr. Barth made the German speech, in which 
he took pains to denounce the Frankfort Revolutionary 
Convention as a godless assemblage because when it was 
proposed to open the convention with prayer the members 
of the convention hissed. 

Many of the revolutionary element had been professional 
men in their native country and could ill adapt themselves 
to conditions as they found them in Wisconsin. Some of 
them made cigars which could not be smoked. Others at- 
tempted to make beer, which did not brew. My friend, 
the late Max H. Gaebler, tells a story of the early days of a 
brewery located north of the city limits between sixty and 
seventy years ago. Bad as was the beer, the drinkers of that 
day made liberal concessions, but they balked at the worst 
kind, so that where it was undrinkable the brewer fed it to 
his hogs on the farm. When the brewer's hogs lay on their 
backs pawing the air and squealing in riotous glee, the pass- 
ing pioneer farmers, patiently driving their oxen to town, 
knew that another brew had miscarried. The brewery 
went bankrupt; and its principal asset, a thirty-five gal- 
lon copper kettle, came into possession of Joe Miller, the 
local coppersmith. In 1861 an orchestra was formed in 
Watertown to assist the choral society in performing 
Haydn's "Creation." Kettledrums were quite necessary but 
not available. So E. C. Gaebler, the conductor, commis- 
sioned Miller to build a pair. Miller utilized the old brew- 
ing kettle for the body of the larger one, and it was a success* 
Eventually the drums were sold to a musical society in La 
Crosse, where they were long in service. When the good 

Chronicles of Early Watertown 


people of La Crosse listened to the sonorous roll of the kettle- 
drum, little did they suspect its turbulent origin. 

Emil Rothe and Theodore Bernhard were a firm of cigar 
makers with antecedents much above mere mechanical pur- 
suits. Rothe was a fluent speaker with a great love for 
political discussion. He represented Watertown in the 
legislature at one time and was several times a candidate 
for Secretary of State on the Democratic ticket. A report 
was current that he always got $500 for his expenses as a 
campaigner. Watertown did not prove a fruitful field for 
him as years went by, and he became the editor of the Cin- 
cinnati Volksfreund, Some years after his removal to that 
town he was a candidate for judge. Although there was a 
Democratic landslide that year it did not benefit Rothe 
and he was left outside the breastworks when the ballots 
were counted. 

Theodore Bernhard, Rothe's partner, deserves more 
than passing notice. A graduate of the University of Berlin, 
he came to Watertown in the early fifties and represented 
the city in the legislature of 1856. For a great many years 
after the founding of the city, the public schools were in a 
chaotic condition, and private schools were in existence until 
1863. Bernhard, who had been the head of a German pri- 
vate school for some time, was made principal of the new 
high school, with general supervision over the other schools 
in the city. He deserves a niche in the hall of fame among 
the city's worthies as the organizer of the Watertown school 
system. It was under his administration that the free text- 
book system was inaugurated, Watertown being the first 
city in Wisconsin to adopt the innovation. In spite of ill 
health (he was for a number of years a victim of chronic 
tuberculosis) , he kept abreast of modern science, and nothing 
gave him so much gratification as to converse on subjects of 
a scientific nature. Aside from his school work he lived 
almost the life of a recluse. His library was his only solace. 


William F. Whyte 

He died in 1879, sixteen years after he became principal of 
the high school. 

I have already said that the educated German immi- 
grants were not always able to adapt themselves to condi- 
tions in the New World. The medical profession as a class 
was an exception to this rule; men of the type of Doctors 
Eger, Feld, Willguhs, and Fischer were successful in their 
work and gained the confidence of their fellow citizens. 

The voters of Watertown in the decade of the fifties were 
as a rule passive followers of politicians who, wearing the 
Democratic label, manipulated the electors for the advan- 
tage of their party. The city was well governed, in the main; 
except during the long agitation over the question of the 
bonded debt, when the more ignorant of the electorate were 
persuaded by a few fanatics that the well-to-do and intelli- 
gent voters owned the bonds which the poor man would 
have to pay for, there wa's very little ground for criticism 
of the conduct of municipal affairs. The voters were honest, 
industrious, and worthy people, but having never been en- 
trusted w^ith political power in the land of their birth, 
they could not be expected to act as voters with discrimina- 
tion or intelligence. The office of justice of the peace in the 
fifth ward was at one time held by a well-known character 
who was not distinguished for his knowledge of law. One 
Sunday afternoon in summer he was enjoying a peaceful 
game of tenpins with his friends at a west side resort. A 
message came that an arrest had been made within the 
limits of his jurisdiction, and his presence was desired in 
court. He was not long absent from Charlie Krebs' palm 
garden where the game had been continued by his friends. 
When asked on his return what had happened he reported, 
"0, dey arrested a fellow and he didn't got any money. So I 
gave him ten days in Juneau. Dey'll take him up tomor- 
row." About nine o'clock the same evening I saw a great 
crowd gathered about the door of the local jail. It did not 

Chronicles of Early Watertown 293 

have the appearance of a peaceful assemblage, and think- 
ing that I might earn an honest dollar in sewing up some 
citizen's torn scalp, I hurried to the scene. The air was thick 
with expletives and imprecations in voluble German (and 
impure English). I asked, **Was ist los.^" "Raus musser; 
raus musser," was the only answer I received. The mob, 
consisting of the friends of the man who had been sen- 
tenced to ten days' imprisonment by the fifth ward Dog- 
berry, was storming the jail. The marshal, John Richardt, 
who had sense enough to know that the man had been 
committed illegally, was soon persuaded by the irate sup- 
porters of the Sunday laws to release the prisoner, who went 
on his way rejoicing. 

There settled in Watertown in the forties and fifties a 
number of members of the legal profession who, under more 
favorable auspices, might have risen to state- or nation- 
wide fame. They were all men of New England or New 
York origin, learned in the law, and I cannot understand 
why so many of them remained in Watertown, especially 
after the beginning of the railroad bond fight made it highly 
improbable that the town would attain a great degree of 
prosperity. Those members of the profession who left for 
other fields soon obtained the recognition which their talents 
deserved. Others remained and seemed to be content with 
the meager emoluments which their legal practice in an un- 
prosperous town yielded. Perhaps the ablest lawyer who 
ever lived in Watertown was Jacob J. Enos. He settled 
there in 1844 and soon made his influence felt as a man of abil- 
ity in his profession. He did not possess any of the arts of 
a politician and had no success in any attempt he ever made 
to gain political preferment. He was great as an expounder 
of the law, and it was a dull jury which Enos could not con- 
vince with his terse and trenchant logic. His commanding 
figure as he appeared on the streets made passershy turn 
and look after him. It has been my fortune to see quite a 


William F. Whyte 

number of kings, but I never have seen any scion of royalty 
who looked the part as much as did Jacob J. Enos. His 
reputation extended beyond the boundaries of Jefferson and 
Dodge counties. Chief Justice Dixon of the state supreme 
court was in the habit of teUing the lawyers in Madison, 
* 'If you want to hear a case tried quickly and well, go down 
to Jefferson County and listen to Enos." I remember as a 
lad listening to his defense of some Jefferson members of 
the W. C. T. U. The women had sworn out a warrant 
against a saloon keeper in that town for selling liquor to 
minors. The beer merchant, to get back at them, had 
them arraigned for perjury. Fearing he could not sustain 
such a ridiculous charge in Jefferson he brought the case to 
Watertown, thinking, no doubt, that the reputation of 
that place might help him win his case. The district at- 
torney of Jefferson County made a long-winded plea in favor 
of binding the women over to circuit court, and cited a New 
York case which he claimed bore out his contention. When 
he finished his argument, Enos said to him, "Hand me that 
book." He arose, cited a few lines from the same case, and 
in five minutes showed the justice, the district attorney, and 
everyone else within hearing that the saloon keeper's charge 
was perfectly ridiculous. On another occasion one of his 
clients was sued by a wholesale lumber firm for a debt. When 
the lumber dealers had put in their evidence, Enos arose 
and addressed the court in the following language: "Your 
honor, I never have defended a bare-face scandal and I 
don't propose to begin now. My client has deceived me. 
He has no case and I will have nothing more to do with 
him." Gathering up his papers he walked out of the court 

Myron B. Williams was a prominent lawyer in Water- 
town for thirty years. He held the office of postmaster and 
was a number of times elected district attorney from Jef- 
ferson County. He was a gentleman of the old school, al- 

Chronicles of Early Watertown 


ways immaculately dressed, and his political enemies nick- 
named him "the respectable end of Jefferson County de- 
mocracy." He was known as the most profound student 
of the Bible in his community. He never enjoyed a large 
practice, but when he left Watertown for Indianapolis he 
was soon recognized as a lawyer of learning and ability. 
The Indiana legislature had enacted a law authorizing the 
appointment of another circuit judge in Indianapolis. It 
devolved upon Governor Hendricks to make the appoint- 
ment. The members of the bar met to make a recommen- 
dation to the governor. Benjamin Harrison, then the head 
of the Indiana bar, suggested that a ballot be taken so that 
the governor might be able to gauge the sentiment of the 
members of the legal profession. The vote was almost unani- 
mous for Mr. Williams. 

Williams' partner for a time was J. A. Lovely. He did 
not remain long in Watertown. He was a man of scholarly 
tastes and a well-trained lawyer. He left after a few years 
and settled in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Some twenty years 
later, having in the meantime changed his political coat, he 
was nominated for Congress on the Republican ticket. 
His political enemies in his own party, having heard of his 
Civil War record while a resident of Watertown, used that 
as a club to attack him after he had received the nomination. 
The services of Ira E. Leonard of New Mexico and Hiram 
Barber of Chicago, both former W^atertown attorneys dur- 
ing Lovely's residence there, were invoked to attack Lovely. 
Barber stumped the district, spreading everywhere the tale 
of Lovely's disloyalty during the Civil War, with the result 
that he was beaten in a staunch Republican district. Some 
years afterwards, however, he was elected to the state su- 
preme bench of Minnesota. He died an honored and re- 
spected citizen of that state. Hiram Barber, for many 
years a Watertown attorney, removed to Chicago and soon 
afterwards was elected to Congress from that city. 


William F, Whyte 

The man who as an attorney achieved the most endur- 
ing fame and rendered Watertown the greatest service of 
any of her citizens who have ever Hved there, was Daniel 
Hall. He was a partner of J. J. Enos up to the time of the 
latter's death in 1874, and after that formed a partnership 
with C. B. Skinner, which continued until dissolved by the 
death of the latter. 

It is not often that a great lawsuit is carried on from the 
beginning to a triumphant and successful ending during a 
period of twenty years by one man. I have written the 
story of the Watertown bond fight in another place, ^ and I 
will give it only passing notice here. Mr. Hall was elected 
to the legislature in 1869, 1870, and 1871. He was honored 
by being chosen speaker in 1872. The legislation designed 
to protect the city from being despoiled by the rapacity of 
the bondholders was enacted during Hall's first two terms as 
assemblyman. With this foundation the case of Watertown 
vs. the bondholders was carried from court to court until fi- 
nally the Supreme Court of the United States decided in 
favor of the city. The bondholders had retained in their 
contention some of the most eminent lawyers in Wisconsin. 
In one or two suits H. L. Palmer, Matt H. Carpenter, D. K. 
Tenney, and the late Justice Pinney were engaged. Mr. 
Hall carried on the case of the city alone, with the advice 
and counsel of Theodore Prentiss, who ably assisted him in 
devising the legislation which protected the city. In the 
last case before the Supreme Court George W. Bird of 
Madison was Hall's coadjutor. 


In his autobiography Carl Schurz passes over his life in 
Watertown in a rather cursory manner. Perhaps his finan- 
cial misfortunes which, though no fault of his own, must 
have caused him much humiliation, led him to ignore many 

^ Wisconsin Historical Society, Proceedings, 1916, 268-307. 

Chronicles of Early Watertown 


of the incidents of his career here. I remember seeing Mrs. 
Schurz and her daughters in Watertown as late as 1865, 
more than ten years after they first came to the place, so 
that they must have regarded Watertown as their residence 
for a number of years. 

Schurz came to Watertown in the fifties, a few years 
after his escape from Germany, bought a farm in the fifth 
ward, and built a very pretty chateau, which unfortunately 
burned down a few years ago. Here he led an idyllic life: 
hunting in the daytime and garden parties in the evening 
occupied his leisure. He served as alderman of his ward 
for one term but did not mix in local politics to any extent; 
his head was too much in the clouds for him to fraternize 
with the local politicians even of his own nationality; and 
his stand on the all-absorbing slavery question was not a 
popular one, as we have already noted. 

While a citizen of Watertown Schurz was placed in 
nomination for the oflSce of lieutenant governor on the 
Republican ticket. A. M. Thomson, a veteran Wisconsin 
editor, in a history of the state written a number of years 
ago, tells of Schurz's appearance on that occasion. He was 
nominated by the party managers with the idea of catching 
the German vote. Thomson describes him as a long, lank, 
shabbily-dressed fellow with bushy red hair and spec- 
tacles. He was called on for a speech and responded. 
"He had not spoken ten minutes when we all knew that 
he was the ablest man in the room," writes the historian. 
He was beaten at the polls although Randall, the Republi- 
can nominee for governor, was elected by a couple of hun- 
dred majority. No doubt the old Know-nothing feeling, 
which had not quite died out, diverted votes enough from 
Schurz to elect his Democratic opponent. 

Schurz sold some parcels of land from his farm to his 
peasant fellow countrymen; a blanket mortgage which 
had been given by him covered the whole. When the panic 


William F, Whyte 

of 1857 came and he could not meet his payments, *'the 
tail went with the dog," and the little fellows were wiped 
out as well. No one at the time attributed any blame to 
Schurz for the catastrophe, for bankruptcies and foreclosures 
were altogether too common in those days to elicit much 

I remember attending with my father a meeting in Cole's 
Hall where Schurz was the principal speaker. It was in the 
campaign of 1860 in which he attained national fame as a 
political orator. My recollection of the meeting is that 
Schurz had very long legs and wore spectacles, and that a 
split rail was suspended from the ceiling of the hall to 
emphasize the fact that Lincoln had been a rail-splitter. 
The aftermath of the meeting was very exciting and was 
long remembered in Watertown. There had been what was 
called in those days a "Wide-awake" procession preceding 
the meeting. The Democrats had a Douglas banner sus- 
pended over Main Street, and it was alleged by the Repub- 
licans that it was purposely lowered that night. Some of the 
taller of the marchers reached up with their lanterns and 
singed it. The procession was attacked with brickbats and 
other missiles, most of which came from an alley next to 
Bieber's saloon, and the attackers took refuge in the saloon 
itself. After the procession had broken ranks, the Wide- 
awakes went back to the saloon with the intention of exe- 
cuting vengeance on their assailants. They found the door 
locked. With heavy planks, they battered it in. The 
saloon was full of Douglas sympathizers who attempted 
to get away through the rear entrance. They were met by 
members of the Wide-awakes and a wild melee ensued. 
The innocent bystanders in the saloon suffered with the 
guilty; a more thoroughly beaten crowd never emerged 
from a political fracas in Wisconsin. 

Fights at the polling places were very common; I have 
said that as a measure for safety the Republicans of the 

Chronicles of Early Watertown 


sixth ward made a practice of marching to the polls in a 
body on election day. I might relate an incident which 
happened at the second ward poll on election day, Novem- 
ber, 1864. 

Wenzel Quis, who in some way, although over the miU- 
tary age, had been accepted as a volunteer in the army, was 
home on a furlough. He was a rather feeble man at the 
time, although he lived to be over one hundred years old. 
He was well known to be a Republican in politics, and when 
he attempted to cast his ballot, he was hustled away from 
the polls, pitched into the street, and his uniform torn and 
covered with mud. On his way toward Main Street he met 
John Rutherford, also a veteran on furlough, who inquired : 

"What is the matter, Wenzel?" 

"I wanted to vote," Quis replied, "and see what they did 
to me." 

"Come on, Wenzel," said Rutherford, "I am going to 
vote and I'll see if they will stop us or not." 

Approaching the voting place he drew his revolver, and 
with his ballot in his left hand called out with a rousing oath, 
"See here, you Dutch copperheads! Get out of my way. 
I am going to vote for Lincoln." 

The crowd made way instantly, and the two "Lincoln 
hirelings" voted without further molestation. 

Schurz, as is well known, was a Liberal Republican in 
1872 and presided over the Cincinnati Convention which, 
although made up of intelligent and liberal-minded men, 
made the colossal blunder of nominating Horace Greeley for 
president. Schurz was strongly in favor of Charles Francis 
Adams and was so disgusted at Greeley's nomination that 
he was disinclined to take any part in the campaign. He 
was finally persuaded, however, to take the stump for 
Greeley. Then Schurz's financial debacle at Watertown 
was looked up, and it was tliouglit good })()litics to exploit 
the misfortunes of both him and his fellow sufferers who bad 


William F. Whyte 

lost their little farms through his mismanagement. A man 
who could not support Grant because he was surrounded by 
a corrupt entourage bent on making his administration a 
spectacle ought to have a clean record himself. So Colonel 
Wetelstedt, a Milwaukee newspaper man, was put on the 
job. In a short time he produced statements and affidavits 
denouncing Schurz as a rascal. They were published in the 
Chicago Inter Ocean and given the widest publicity in the 
Republican press. Charles H. Gardner, a Watertown at- 
torney, went over the ground in the attempt to produce 
counter statements but with ill success. The aggrieved 
parties were few and without influence, and it was thought 
good politics to bring Schurz to Watertown, where his al- 
leged misdeeds were committed. He spoke in the public 
square on September 19 to a large but apathetic audience; 
as a supporter of Grant, I must confess that while listening 
to his speech he nearly took me off my feet. It was a terrific 
arraignment of Grant's administration; but I had to admit 
its truthfulness. I was comforted by only one circumstance 
— he did not say a word in favor of Horace Greeley. He 
denounced with all the eloquence at his command the 
faults and blunders of Grant, and at the end of any period 
his refrain was, "My friends, if you do not like this, then 
range yourselves under the banner on which the name of 
Horace Greeley is inscribed." I met an old farmer by the 
name of Spiegelberg a number of years afterwards, who told 
me that he was one of those who had lost land by the fore- 
closure, and that after the campaign was over he had written 
to Schurz asking him what, if anything, he intended to do 
in the matter. Schurz wrote to him to apply to Henry 
Mulberger, a Watertown attorney, who paid Spiegelberg 
money as Schurz's attorney. I rather think that it was 
creditable on his part to pay money in a case where he was 
not legally obligated to do so. 

Chronicles of Early Watertown 


This must be said in Schurz's favor also : he never sought 
to make capital of his nationality. A large proportion of 
our citizens of foreign birth who have gained political pre- 
ferment in our republic have done so because they had 
the good fortune to have been born abroad and have been 
appointed or elected to office because it was thought "good 
politics" to placate the foreign-born voters. Schurz achieved 
distinction in the United States not because of his birth, but 
by virtue of his extraordinary ability. As a statesman and 
philosopher he is, in my opinion, without a peer in recent 
American history.* 


The Methodist church in Watertown has never until 
late years been a flourishing organization and without doubt 
would have died but for the facts that in the early life of 
Watertown a lot had been donated for a Methodist church 
and the missionary society contributed yearly to its support. 

The few disciples of John Wesley were engaged in the 
attempt to erect a church edifice. The struggle seemed 
hopeless when the tempter in the shape of a society of Free- 
thinkers approached them with the proposition that they 
would help finish the building if they could have the use of 
the church for their meetings occasionally. A considerable 
number of the early settlers of American origin were dis- 
believers in Christianity, and among them were the promi- 
nent men of the village. A Tom Paine society flourished 
for several years, and as late as 1859 a call for the formation 
of what was styled a "liberal religious organization" was 
signed by a large number of prominent business men. The 
Episcopalians had built a new church edifice, and the Free- 

*Some may disagree with the author's flattering judgment of Carl Schurz, as others 
may disagree with his unflattering judgment of certain of the more local characters here 
portrayed. But the future historian, in generalizing concerning types of leadership in 
Wisconsin communities, will have cause to praise the frankness with whicli Doctor Whyte 
writes concerning men whose careers he knows, and the courage he manifcsU in assiiming 
full responsibility for his statements in the face of certain criticism. J. S. 


William F. Whyte 

thinkers bought the old church for their use. The organi- 
zation was not long lived, however, and the *'church" was 
bought soon after by an enterprising citizen at a sacrifice 
sale and turned into a planing-mill. However, the few im- 
pecunious Methodists and their spineless pastor, who feared 
that their attempt to finish the church was hopeless, suc- 
cumbed to the temptation and agreed in return for the de- 
sired financial assistance to allow an "infidel" orator to speak 
in the meetinghouse on week days occasionally. 

This agreement between the disciples of Christ and the 
*'sons of Belial" was adhered to until the advent of a new min- 
ister. The Methodist custom in those days was to change 
ministers frequently; from one to three years was the rule 
for a preacher to remain in one station. When the new 
preacher came, the unbelievers reminded him of their agree- 
ment with his predecessor and requested the use of the 
church for one of their meetings. But they met with un- 
expected opposition. 

"What do you take me for?" shouted the irate disciple 
of John Wesley. "I am a Methodist minister, and this 
church is a Methodist church, a church of Jesus Christ, and 
nothing but His gospel shall be preached from its pulpit." 

The Free-thinkers had no written agreement or contract 
and found themselves helpless in the matter. 


The Rev. Christian Sans was a well-known character in 
Watertown in the decade between 1850 and 1860. He was 
a Lutheran minister of rather a more liberal type than the 
Missouri Synod approved; his church under his dominating 
personality was a numerous body composed largely of Ger- 
man immigrants of the peasant class, whose industrious 
habits were at that time rapidly turning the wilderness into 
fertile farms. They were loyal to their minister and so far 
as they understood his aims and projects they did not op- 

Chronicles of Early Watertown 303 

pose him. But when he was attacked and persecuted by 
those outside of the church, they did not defend him as they 
ought to have done. Sans was an enthusiast, eager to build 
up his church and promote the cause of religion in the com- 
munity, but in the judgment of contemporaries who were 
friendly to him, somewhat lacking in tact. He was a prac- 
tical and kind shepherd to his flock; if any of the poor 
families in the church were in need, he would appeal to the 
well-to-do and insist upon their supplying the wants of the 
less fortunate. 

Had he confined his energies to work in his congregation, 
he might have remained in Watertown for the term of his 
natural life. But the blood of reformers and agitators 
flowed in his veins; and he soon aroused the antagonism of 
the unbelievers of his own nationality in the community, 
who having fled from oppression in Germany were deter- 
mined that no one should be allowed to differ from them in 
this land of freedom and equality, especially if he were a 

I have already enumerated some of the characteristics 
of the German unbelievers in Watertown who overawed by 
their noise and bullying the more ignorant and peaceable of 
their fellow countrymen. Although the country was new 
and the great majority of his congregation was poor. Sans 
by persistent begging both in this country and in Germany 
built a church which was dedicated in 1855 and is still used 
for congregational meetings by St. Mark's Society. It is a 
commodious structure, without, however, any pretense to 
beauty of architecture or design. 

Sans was a man of gigantic stature, and on the street 
with his dignified stride and his yellow hair flowing over his 
shoulders he was a fine example of those Teutons who under 
Arminius overthrew the Romans in the Teutoburger Wald. 
He was anxious to Americanize the Germans as rai)idly as 
possible and promoted prayer meetings in which both the 


William F. Whyte 

English and the German languages were used. He had an 
American Sunday school in his church, of which Heber 
Smith, afterwards one of the organizers of the Northwestern 
Mutual Life Insurance Company, was superintendent. As 
a small boy, I attended this school and can well remember 
Dr. Sans's broken English and portly figure when he ad- 
dressed the children at the close of the exercises. 

Attempts on his part to bring the American and German 
Christians closer together were used as an argument against 
him by his enemies, but these alone would not have been 
sufiicient to arouse the feeling which put his life in jeopardy 
if he had not attacked customs which his enemies regarded 
as sacred, and institutions which their newly-acquired 
political prejudices led them to believe must be defended 
with their hearts' blood. Sans had the temerity to de- 
nounce Sunday drinking and Sunday picnics as sinful, and 
he was, moreover, an opponent of slavery. He was charged 
with immoral practices by his enemies who claimed that his 
life in the East had been inconsistent with his professions 
before he came to Watertown. One charge they made 
against him he did not deny, namely : that he had taken his 
stepfather's name. Many years afterwards I was told by 
German women living on what is known as the Sugar 
Island that they were members of Sans's confirmation class 
and occupants of his home when young girls, and that his 
household was an ideal Christian home. 

The opposition to Pastor Sans, as I have already said, 
did not come from his own congregation, but from men who 
cared nothing for the purity of the Christian Church and its 
minister; they had been held in check by an arbitrary gov- 
ernment in Germany, and in Wisconsin they mistook license 
for freedom. The Anglo-Americans took up the cudgels 
for Sans. They did not take sides in the controversy over 
his morals, but they insisted that as an American citizen 
he be protected in his life and liberty. My father was a 

Chronicles of Early Watertown 


man nearly sixty years of age at the time of the controversy; 
I well remember his sleeping in Sans's house, armed, as did 
many others of the law-abiding citizens of the town. Sans 
was no doubt indebted for his life to C. B. Skinner, the may- 
or of Watertown. Skinner was a quiet, peaceable citizen, 
a lawyer by profession, and a man in some respects like 
Macaulay's Puritan, "proud, calm, inflexible, sagacious." 
When the controversy was at its height, and the air was 
filled with threats against Sans, Skinner called some of the 
leaders together and addressed them in these words: **You 
people are threatening to kill Sans. Now you may succeed. 
But I am mayor of this city and I warn you that if you at- 
tempt to carry out your threats some of you will go with him. 
No man shall be murdered by mob law in this town if I can 
prevent it; and if shooting some of you people is necessary 
to protect Sans, I shall see that it is done." This warning 
had a decidedly quieting effect on the agitators. 

About this time a donation party was given for Sans in 
Cole's lower hall. A dinner was served, and speeches were 
made by prominent citizens who, whether partisans of Sans 
or not, believed in the old English idea of fair play. At the 
close of the meeting those who came out of the hall saw a 
group of the "sons of Belial" standing at the landing with the 
evident intention of pushing Sans headlong down the stairs. 
Mayor Skinner drew a pistol and pushed his way to the 
front, shouting: "I'll shoot the first man who touches Sans." 
It is needless to say that Sans went home in safety that 

On June 24, a committee of the Franchean Synod, of 
which Sans was a member, met at Watertown and decided 
"the charges against him were of a hearsay character and 
involved material contradictions; that they had been passed 
on in the East and nothing had been produced that has any 
standing in a court of justice; and until additional evidence 


William F, Whyte 

can be shown we cannot but hold Mr. Sans entitled to the 
confidence and respect of the Christian public." 

Those whose courage and sense of justice had saved Sans 
from violence finally advised him that in the interest of 
peace and tranquillity he had better leave the town. He 
could not do any good with the feeling against him, however 
unjustifiable it might be. He therefore accepted the pas- 
torate of a Lutheran church in Joliet, Illinois, and died there 
twenty -five years afterwards, a highly respected citizen. 


Watertown, always Democratic in its politics, showed 
strong Copperhead tendencies during the Civil War period. 
In 1861 when President Lincoln called for volunteers, a 
company was raised which formed a part of the Third Wis- 
consin Infantry. The local military company which had 
been in existence for several years disbanded on the out- 
break of the Rebellion. In the winter of 1861 a part of a 
company was raised in Watertown under the captaincy of 
O. D. Pease, who was killed at the battle of Shiloh in the 
spring of 1862. A number of young men also joined the 
First and Third regiments of cavalry. An Irish company 
was also recruited, which was not full owing to the fact that 
many men of that nationality had enrolled in other com- 
panies. They formed a part of the Seventeenth Wisconsin 
Infantry (the Irish Brigade) and did valiant service in the 
Southwest. In the summer of 1862 two more companies 
were raised: the German (Sigel Guards), and the so-called 
American Companies. The Sigel Guards formed a part of the 
Twentieth Regiment which, under the command of Henry 
Bertram, a Watertown man, participated in the battle of 
Prairie Grove, Arkansas. 

The Twentieth Regiment had the largest casualty list 
of any Wisconsin regiment in a battle of the Civil War. The 
company was composed of men of German birth or parent- 

Chronicles of Early Watertown 


age with one exception, John Ramsay, a Scot, who was 
killed at Prairie Grove. In the casualty list at Prairie 
Grove was John Weber, captain of the Watertown company. 
Captain Bird of Madison said to me recently that W^eber 
was the most heroic man whom it had been his fortune to 
know in the army. His leg was shattered, and he, with 
other wounded, was driven seven miles over a corduroy road 
to Fayetteville. Although he must have suffered untold 
agony during the journey he did not utter a word of com- 
plaint, nor did a groan escape his lips. His leg was ampu- 
tated, and he died a few days later in the hospital at Fayette- 

Notwithstanding this very creditable war record there 
were in Watertown a large number of stay-at-homes who, 
as the war dragged on and the issue seemed doubtful, be- 
came bitter opponents of Lincoln's administration. The 
"Knights of the Golden Circle" was the leading Copperhead 
organization in the northwestern states. I do not know 
whether there were any "Knights" in Watertown, but they 
certainly had numerous sympathizers. After it was found 
necessary by the administration to pass a draft law to fill 
the depleted ranks of the volunteers, the opposition to the 
war became very pronounced; threats of what might be 
deemed open rebellion were frequently heard. 

But the antiwar men did not have it all their own way. 
Some of the supporters of Lincoln were fearless and out- 
spoken and did not hesitate to defend the administration 
when they thought it was their duty. Such an one was 
Edward Johnson, a druggist, a man of Irish birth, a Demo- 
crat, who, although a man of education and culture, was not 
averse to what the Irish call a "public fight." The Irish 
blood was warm in his veins; later on, in his old age, he was 
an enthusiastic champion of home rule for Ireland. In his 
absence from his store one day an anti-Lincoln banner was 
suspended from the roof to the building across tlie street. 


William F. Whyte 

When Johnson returned and saw the flag he seized an ax, 
dimbed upon the roof, and hacked off the offending emblem. 
As it trailed in the dust of the street the irate druggist came 
down and standing in front of his store swung the ax around 
his head and threatened to brain any man who dared to put 
that rag back on his roof again. 

Opposition to the administration took concrete form 
when a company of draft resisters was organized in Water- 
town, who in some way obtained possession of arms and met 
regularly in Cole's Hall. They made no secret of their in- 
tention to resist enrollment and to come to the assistance of 
any of their fellow sympathizers who might be in danger of 
molestation by any of "Lincoln's hirelings." The oppor- 
tunity for which the souls of these draft resisters had 
thirsted soon presented itself. How they intended to pro- 
ceed in their resistance to the government I do not think any 
of the pacifist heroes thought out in his own mind. But we 
who have lived through the years of the Great War and have 
really thought that our pro-Germans and pacifists were 
terrible fellows have no idea of the blind rage and fury which 
filled the Copperhead bosom in the years 1863-65. Lincoln 
was assailed every day in the press. "Tyrant," "oppres- 
sor," "widow maker," were the usual epithets hurled at 
"Honest Abe"; and no wonder that the ignorant, deluded 
citizens who read every day in their newspapers such dia- 
tribes against the President, which were ignored by an in- 
dulgent government, thought they had a right to resist the 
actions of such tyrants who were too weak even to call their 
slanderers to account. It may be that the sympathy for 
the rebellious South was created by the situation which the 
latter had brought about. They had, with the men of the 
North, been voting the Democratic ticket for years. The 
Southern Democrats had been the political compatriots of 
their Northern fellow citizens; now the latter were to be 
forced to go to war against them, to shoot men who had been 

Chronicles of Early Watertown 


their brethren in politics and who were defending the sacred 
institution of slavery for which their Northern associates 
had been apologizing only a short time before. 

The time had come for them to defend their principles. 
One fine summer day a courier came in from an adjoining 
town, bringing the news that the enrolling officer was taking 
down the names of those eligible for the draft. A detach- 
ment of the Watertown company hurriedly assembled and 
with their muskets on their shoulders started for the scene. 
These volunteers wore no uniforms and did not show any 
soldierly discipline or bearing as they marched through 
Main Street and turned north for the scene of the outrage 
which they were so eager to suppress. But they made up 
in zeal and enthusiasm for what they lacked in soldierly 
bearing. They reached, after marching about a mile from 
the city, a bridge crossing Rock River, where was located a 
grocery and saloon, a favorite stopping place for farmers 
entering or leaving the town. It was a warm day, and the 
company stopped to assuage their thirst with a glass or two 
of beer. While engaged in this congenial occupation, they 
were met by another courier with the news that the enroll- 
ing officer was escorted by seven soldiers armed with rifles. 
This was cold news. What could they do? Like Lars 
Porsena's soldiers at the bridge over the Tiber, "Those be- 
hind cried forward and those in front cried back.'' They 
finally compromised on a few more glasses of beer and with 
their arms reversed marched back to the city. The doughty 
warriors never appeared again in public in martial array; 
their subsequent activities were confined to verbal denun- 
ciation of the government. 


The prosperity of Watertown in the past and its present 
satisfactory financial status are due in great part to the 
thrifty and industrious farming population. The town 


William F. Whyte 

did not appeal to the development of manufacturing inter- 
ests owing to the "bogeyman," the railway bonded debt, 
and its growth was no doubt hampered for forty years by 
that unfortunate situation. 

But the fertile soil of the surrounding territory attracted 
the sturdy yeomanry of native and foreign origin; and the 
urban population could always rely on their rural neighbors 
for support. Judson Prentice, the pioneer surveyor, told me 
that he sent the Irish newcomers north and west, the Ger- 
mans east, and the Americans south. Whatever his inten- 
tions may have been, it made little difference in the ultimate 
trend of the population. The Germans from Brandenburg 
and Pomerania were sent east to the hilly and less attractive 
township of Lebanon, Dodge County; but the sturdy peas- 
ants, disgusted with the petty tyranny of the Prussian kings, 
were not discouraged by the hills of Lebanon. Their per- 
severance and industry soon transformed the wilderness into 
a garden; and today there is no more valuable land or finer 
improved farms in Wisconsin. Ten years ago I motored 
with Senator Norris of Nebraska eight miles east to the neigh- 
borhood called the "Trechel." As we were returning I said 
to him, ''Senator, what do you think of this country .f^" He 
replied, "I am amazed at the fine cattle, the beautiful homes, 
and spacious barns. I have never seen anything like this 
anywhere." The Lebanon settlement was made up largely 
of people who had been small proprietors in their native land 
and brought suflficient money with them to buy land, not 
only for themselves but for their children also. I knew one 
settler in the town of Ixonia who bought a farm for each of 
his five sons. The wealthiest immigrant, a man named 
Arndt, brought $25,000 in gold with him and at one time 
owned nearly one thousand acres of good farm land in 
Dodge County. 

But it made little difference how much capital these Ger- 
man peasants brought with them. They soon by dint of 

Chronicles of Early Watertown 311 

industry and thrift bought a piece of land; then the heads 
of the family with the children set about paying off the mort- 
gage and erecting buildings for the cattle. I know that fre- 
quently the family lived in the log house until after the 
commodious basement barn could be erected to shelter the 

The townships of Emmett and Shields north and west of 
Watertown were settled by immigrants from Ireland and ' 
were for forty -five years known as Irish towns. Many of 
these immigrants were industrious and capable farmers. 
They controlled the politics of the towns for fifty years; 
however, as the original settlers died out their places were 
taken by Germans. The sons and daughters of the Irish did 
not seem to care for the quiet life of the farmer. They 
drifted to the cities; many of them did not marry; and the 
"peaceful penetration" of the Teuton gradually crowded out 
the Celt. 

I have mentioned the lack of political ability of the Ger- 
man immigrant. The second generation seems to be "catch- 
ing on," to use a slang phrase. For many years the politics 
of the town of Emmett were controlled by men of Irish birth 
or parentage. As time went by, however, the Germans, who 
had come to be in the majority, insisted upon their share of 
the town offices and forced a division. The Irish were fi- 
nally compelled to be satisfied with the office of town clerk ; 
as that worthy citizen has gone to his reward, no doubt the 
office is now filled by a voter of Teutonic extraction. The 
history of the two towns which I have just mentioned can be 
duplicated in every township surrounding the city of Water- 
town. The Saxon has driven out the Celt even as his cous- 
ins did hundreds of years ago when they braved the storms 
of the North Sea and drove the original inhabitants of the 
Island of Britain into the mountains of Wales and the high- 
lands of Scotland. 


William F. Whyte 

The hardships which these immigrants endured in their 
native Germany fitted them better to achieve fortune in the 
land of their adoption than if their circumstances had been 
different. In Germany the so-called Gutsbesitzers or large 
proprietors gave the laborers on their estates just enough to 
keep them in good working condition but kept them so 
**close handed" for money that it was impossible for them 
to lay up enough to pay their passage to a new country. 
One farmer who had retired to the city to pass his old age in 
comfort told me that he was very economical in his youth; 
and by the time he was twenty-eight he had saved about 
fifty dollars which carried him and his bride across the At- 
lantic. The usual custom among the landed proprietors in 
Pomerania was to give the day laborer on the estate, in 
addition to his cabin and a small patch of land for potatoes, 
a yearly dole of one half a hog, the wool of two sheep, and 
linen enough for the housewife to weave for the family use. 
A very small sum of money was given him also; and so he 
lived from hand to mouth from youth to old age. Quite a 
number were brought to America by what is called "Frei- 
karten." Some one of the family or a relative in the States 
would save enough to pay the passage money for those still 
in Europe; in this way large numbers were enabled to emi- 

On the outskirts of Watertown was located what is 
known as the "Mecklenburg Settlement." Prior to the year 
1866 the peasants of Mecklenburg were held in a state of 
practical serfdom by the Grand Duke. Being granted a 
large measure of freedom, a stampede of laborers took place 
from the Duchy, many of them coming to Watertown. 
This migration caused a stringency in the labor market in 
Mecklenburg, which was relieved by the importation of 
laborers from Sweden. Forty years ago it was not un- 
common in Watertown to find Swedes who spoke Mecklen- 
burg German — German with a Swedish intonation. 

Chronicles of Early Watertown 


Among the early Lebanon settlers Christian communism 
was practiced to some extent. The wealthier immigrants 
contributed to the needs of those less fortunate. John 
Moldenhauer, one of the well-to-do pioneers, gave $500 to- 
ward aiding his poor brethren to emigrate; in 1843, $500 was 
a large sum of money. Land hunger, which in an individual 
means wealth and in a nation means empire, has been a 
characteristic of the citizens of Watertown, especially those 
of German extraction. Hundreds of the laboring class lived 
on the outskirts of the city, each with his little two- to ten- 
acre patch of ground, which was cultivated by the family 
while the head was employed as a day laborer on the railway 
or in a factory. By the census of 1900 Watertown ranked 
as the second city of the United States from the viewpoint 
of ownership of homes by the inhabitants. I have no 
doubt that the census of 1920 will show that it still ranks 
high in this respect. 

Wherever one travels through large cities south or east 
of Chicago during the poultry season, the eye will catch the 
sign: "Watertown Stuffed Geese." This industry, which 
has long ago been "verboten" in Germany on the ground of 
cruelty to animals, still flourishes among the descendants 
of the German immigrants in the vicinity of Watertown. 
It is a source of considerable revenue to the farmer who 
possesses the necessary technical skill to carry on the process 
with safety to the goose. The large geese of the flock which 
weigh at least eighteen pounds are imprisoned in a box, 
only the head and neck protruding. The housewife prepares 
noodles of meat, and the goose is stuffed every six hours for 
three weeks. The bird gains at least ten pounds in that 
time and then is slaughtered for the market. A few years 
ago these geese were sold by weight as follows: a goose 
weighing twenty -five pounds would bring twenty -five cents 
a pound; for every pound above that the dealer would pay 
an extra penny so that a thirty -five pound goose would bring 


William F. Whyte 

over $12. These were prewar prices which have since no 
doubt changed greatly to the advantage of the goose farmer. 
Stuffing geese is an ancient custom. In the tombs of the 
sacred bulls in Egypt, which are four thousand years old, I 
saw carved on the walls a pictorial representation of the 
same process which has made our Watertown farmers 

The immigrants from Germany brought with them their 
love for music and dramatics. The Turnverein and the 
Concordia Musical Society were rival organizations; for 
many years creditable performances were given by both 
societies. The Turners would give an amateur theatrical 
entertainment and athletic exhibit every two weeks during 
the winter season and the musical society would alternate 
with a concert or a play. Thus the German citizens of 
Watertown did not lack for entertainment. I remember on 
one occasion Schiller's Marie Stuart was put on the boards 
by the musical society. The role of the Earl of Leicester 
was taken by a tailor who wore a very long beard which was 
not trimmed for the occasion. I wondered at the time 
whether Queen Bess, had she allowed such a courtier in her 
presence, would have sworn a longer oath than was her cus- 
tom. These societies have gone into the limbo of the past. 
We can say of the amateur actors : 

The knights are dust, their swords are rust; 
Their souls are with the saints, we trust. 

The music hall is now an Elk Lodge room, and the spacious 
**Turnhalle" is used only occasionally for political meetings. 

Carl R. Fish 

One of the easiest and most amusing additions a com- 
munity can make to its attractions is an historical museum. 
The first step is to catch your curator. The prime duty of 
the first curator is collection. Little discrimination is 
needed, and, in the beginning little special knowledge, but 
one should be interested to learn many things, should be 
ordinarily honest, have hustle and ingenuity, and ooze with 
tact. Almost every community has some man, or more 
probably some woman, with these qualities, who would find 
in such work an interest for spare hours and who could before 
many years command the interest and co-operation of the 
whole neighborhood. 

The next thing needed is a place. This will probably 
be wherever one can find room; but it is just as well to con- 
sider where an historical museum belongs. All Wisconsin 
towns have schoolhouses ; most have libraries. Even small 
cities in Wisconsin are beginning to develop zoos, Madison 
for instance, having a very beautiful and interesting one. 
Many normal and high schools are building up commercial 
museums, and Mr. Peckham created in Milwaukee a valu- 
able museum of natural history. Here and there are, also, 
the beginnings of an art museum. All these are part of the 
educational equipment and should work together in har- 
mony. Any combination of them that works is satisfactory, 
but some are preferable to others. The commercial mu- 
seum is usually in the high school, and there are perfectly 
respectable associations for an historical museum, but one 
cannot get over the fact that a school building is associated 
with the education of the young and that adults are often 
scared away. The most appropriate combination is with 
the library and art museum, of which a most charming and 
effective illustration is offered at Green Bay, than which 1 


Carl R. Fish 

have not seen anything more attractive, for its size, in 
Europe or America. 

When a place for storage and exhibition has been secured, 
the next step will be the accumulation of material. Now the 
curator will need all her personal knowledge of families, and 
their histories, and their attics; all her zest in arousing 
people's interest in their past and their pride in having others 
know it; all her art in giving publicity and interest to the 
project. The schools, the press, and the Boy Scouts should 
be freely used ; the curator must be prepared to answer calls 
to investigate treasures that are useless or that will really 
never be offered. Nothing must be rejected; note must be 
taken of everything whether it is offered or not — for who 
can tell what circumstance may at any moment cause the 
dispersal of a family's garnered treasures — and many of 
the best things must be accepted "on deposit," though one 
should try for a free gift. The two essentials are to get all 
one can, and to have tagged or to tag every object with the 
donor's story, which is often inaccurate, but may serve as a 
point of departure in "placing" the article. 

And now when the first harvest is gathered in, the cura- 
tor will sit down with it and think it over. At first it will 
seem to resemble a church rummage sale collection, and the 
first thought will be to give up the whole plan or to eliminate 
most of the accumulated treasures. Only, however, when 
a museum is very old and well established can it afford to 
eliminate, and then only sparingly. People must be made 
to feel confidence and appreciation ; if their contributions are 
too impossible they may be left for a long time harmlessly 
in the purgatory of "not yet arranged." It is equally im- 
portant that no fiedgling curator can know what should be 
eliminated. Value often depends on combination; the least 
considered trifle may prove to be the chief stone of the 
corner. Arrangement may at first seem quite hopeless; at 
this point it would be well to consult the ever helpful Mr. 

An Historical Museum 


Brown of the State Historical Society's museum. A mu- 
seum can never, however, be arranged on a classified system 
as can a library. The material must be allowed to dictate 
its own arrangement and will reveal some proper system if 
one gives it earnest thought. 

Usually the first natural grouping will illustrate the pio- 
neer life of the community. Tools, china, glassware, used 
by the first settlers ; clothes they brought to the West with 
them, and quite different clothes they made after they 
reached the West; harness and old hymn books, fire irons, 
old guns, knives, spectacles and wigs, pictures, family por- 
traits and their successors, the daguerreotypes, skillets, 
dolls, and medicine bottles, hair wreaths, baby linen, war 
medals, and old documents. Nearly any Wisconsin com- 
munity still possesses in its homes enough reminders of the 
first days to make those days live again in the minds of the 
younger generation, if all be gathered together and displayed 
with cleverness. 

But such a first reaping is almost sure to bring together 
much more. Our citizens came from many places, and few 
came quite empty handed. Smaller, stronger, and less per- 
ishable relics will drift in, which will serve as a basis for a 
case devoted to England, new and old, Pennsylvania and 
the states to the south, Germany or Belgium or Holland. 
Recent immigrants should not be forgotten. Wisconsin is 
as good a place as any in the world in which to pick up Rus- 
sian brass. Bohemians and Greeks are still in touch with 
their old homes and patriotic enough to send back for char- 
acteristic things, cheap enough there, but adding immensely 
to the scope and interest of the museum. 

The first collection will always be the heart of the mu- 
seum, for its interest will be twofold. First will be the local 
association, and second will be the fascination which always 
attaches to hard work, for most of the articles will anlcdale 
the era of manufacturing. The foundation of the collection 


Carl R, Fish 

will, also, be well established, for always the pioneer life and 
the earlier history of the various strains of population that 
made the community will be the central interests. 

One further branch should, and may, easily be started, 
though it may be advisable to defer it a little and give it the 
advantage of a separate campaign. This is the life preced- 
ing settlement, that of the Indian and the trapper. Almost 
any portion of Wisconsin affords today such material, but 
it is not unlimited, and if not speedily gathered in, will soon 

In building up the museum after it is once started, the 
curator should use the interest it creates to secure the assis- 
tance of others, and should drain to the limit the sources 
already mentioned to fill out the groups already started. 
Other lines, however, will continually open up, some of which 
are less dependent on outside good will, and more on per- 
sonal initiative. For instance, photographs should be taken 
of storied spots and of houses interesting in themselves or 
because of their associations. The museum must aim to 
make it possible to visualize the locality at different periods. 
Not only amateur, but even professional photographers will 
often freely give their services if they are properly asked and 
know that what they give will be arranged in attractive 

One connects the idea of a museum with old things, but 
a live curator must prepare for the future, when the things 
of today will be old. It may be impossible to make the 
museum properly illustrate the life which preceded the 
starting of the collection; there can be no excuse for not 
having it ready to reveal the life of today, though much 
contemporary material may seem to have no interest and 
had best be packed away for future revival. The curator 
should let no celebration pass, no important political cam- 
paign, no innovation in the way of living, without storing up 
illustrative relics. For instance, I always find people in- 

An Historical Museum 


terested in ancient clothing. It has long been a hobby with 
me that a most enthralling collection could be made by ask- 
ing men and women of the community to donate partly worn 
clothes, having them cleaned and packed away. What a 
sensation could be created by keeping them through the 
period that they are *'out-of -fashion," until they are "old- 
fashioned!" I believe that almost any town carrying out 
this plan systematically for a while could, without expense, 
suddenly produce a collection of which I do not know the 

All that has been mentioned so far can be done with very 
little money — merely what is required for simple cases and 
for the repair and preservation of some of the exhibits. The 
opportunity for spending money, however, is, as in the case 
of most things, enormous, and any healthy museum, once 
started, will find and spend. On what to spend it first is the 
question. Of course an historical museum should aim not 
solely to cultivate the self-consciousness of the community, 
but also its sympathies and imagination, by presenting 
something of the world outside. The world, however, is a 
large place. Probably one should mostly trust to accident, 
chance gifts from travelers, missionaries, and others possess- 
ing local pride and foreign association. Every museum 
should, however, have some one line that it actively pursues. 

Sometimes a start will come by chance. The Nunnema- 
cher collection of arms and armor in Milwaukee is an 
example. Some years ago a complete set of the Piranesi 
etchings of Rome was discovered at Superior. About this 
collection there might have been built up a section on Rome 
which would have enabled the children there to grow up with 
a lively sense of the greatest center of the world's history. 
If such nucleus is lacking, some local circumstance may give 
a clue. One of the most interesting small museums I ever 
saw was in Northampton in England. This town has for 
centuries been a center of boot and shoe manufacture. The 

Carl R, Fish 

museum has collected illustrations of footwear from all ages 
and climes. It is not only interesting, but useful in furnish- 
ing ideas to the industrial workers of the town. How valu- 
able would such a collection on the history of paper be at 
Neenah, Menasha, or Appleton, or one on fly fishing at 
Stevens Point, or river transportation at La Crosse, or dams 
and locks at Portage, or the history of lumbering at Eau 
Claire, Chippewa Falls, Stevens Point, or La Crosse. 

And now having spoken of the easily practicable, we shall 
consider for a moment the ideal — a practicable ideal which 
has been realized in many places. The ideal place for an 
historical museum is in an historic building. I remember 
the hours of joy I passed as a boy among the quaint objects 
collected at Newport, Rhode Island, in an historic church 
building. Nearly every town possesses some building of 
interest because of its structure or its associations; in time 
such buildings nearly always become useless for their origi- 
nal purposes, and then is the time for the museum, with a 
reputation based on its career, to step in and preserve an 
object of historic interest by giving it a new use, perhaps 
sharing it for a while with some other public body, as at 
Holden, Massachusetts, where a social settlement uses part 
of a fine old historic house, and in Green Bay, where the 
Tank cottage is used as a branch of the public library and 
for a museum. 

Once in possession of such an appropriate home, the mu- 
seum should arrange some part of it as it once was — not as a 
place to show off many things, but to reproduce an actual 
bit of the past, with the old things ready for their old uses. 
The finest museum piece in America is Mount Vernon, 
which is kept practically as Washington lived in it, enabling 
us to see the man and to realize the life of his time. A very 
perfect special museum is Pemberton House in Providence, 
Rhode Island. The original house was built about 1800, 
In which Mr. Pemberton long lived, devoting his time and 

An Historical Museum 


money to furnishing it as it would have been at that time. 
He never overfurnished, but if he found something better 
than he possessed he discarded what he had. After his 
death the house was reproduced in fireproof materials, and 
one can see today exactly how a gentleman lived a century 
and a quarter ago. Such examples are too much to ask of 
most communities; but a room, or a workshop, a printer's 
oiSSce, or a log cabin, presented exactly as it might have been 
at some given period, would give our generation the most 
vivid conception possible of the life of the past and would 
become a magnet of attraction drawing visitors to any com- 
munity that has the spirit to see the thing through. 




Chauncey H. Cooke 

Columbus, Kentucky, 
25th, Regt. Wis. Volunteers. 
February 28th, 1863. 
Dear Sister: Your letter came in due time. It was handed 
me yesterday by the orderly as I came off guard. You rate me 
pretty low on composition and spelling but I mean to do better. 
Yes, I sent my clothes the day before we left Madison. I directed 
the box in care of Giles Cripps at Trempealeau. Father will 
have to get it from there. It weighs about 100 pounds. You will 
know my knapsack by my name stamped on one of the shoulder 
straps. Barney Bull has a coat in my bundle, all the rest belongs 
to the Mondovi boys outside of my knapsack. Father should 
leave their clothes at Yankee Town,^ where their folks will get 
them. I hope father won't wear my coat. I hate to see a civilian 
in soldier's dress. If I ever get back it will do me for some time, 
and if I don't get back give it to some poor soldier in the neighbor- 
hood. You did not say anything of my letter written on the 
eve of leaving Madison for Cairo, Illinois. Of course you have 
it by this time. The sweethearts and wives of the boys from all 
parts of the state swarmed about the station to say good bye. 
There were lots of mothers and fathers too. The sweethearts 
smiled but the mothers and wives shed tears. I saw a few tears 
in the eyes of some of the married men. It made me think of the 
song I have heard father sing so many times. Here are two lines: 
"Go watch the foremost ranks in danger's dark career; Be sure 
the hand most daring there, has wiped away a tear." There 
were a thousand handkerchiefs fluttering in the air waving final 
adieus as the two long trains bearing the 25th slowly pulled 
out of the station to begin their journey south. I don't remember 
what I wrote you about Cairo. They say it is a bit like Cairo in 
Egypt. Our Cairo has more rats I'll bet, and it is built right in 

* Earlier installments of these unusual war time letters have been published in the 
issues of this magazine for September and December, 1920. 

* Now Gilmanton, Buffalo County, Wisconsin. 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


the forks of the Ohio and the Mississippi rivers. I don't like the 
people. They are half rebs, never look at a soldier nor speak in 
passing. There are a lot of steamers tied up here loaded with 
supplies for Vicksburg and other points occupied by our troops. 

The site of our camp here in Columbus, Ky. is fine. We 
can see for miles up and down the river. We are on a high bluff 
200 feet higher than the town. The water is not good tho and we 
drink cold coffee to quench thirst. No enemy can approach us by 
water and on the land side we throw out pickets every day in a 
half -moon circle touching the river above and below town, so 
we cannot be taken by surprise from the land. We have a lot of 
heavy cannon behind strong breastworks overlooking the river 
so that no hostile fleet could reach us. On the land side there 
seems little danger of attack. Half the people in this part of 
Kentucky are Union and we would have plenty of warning of 
any rebel advance. I have been on picket duty in the woods 
some two miles from town twice since coming here. My beat was 
supposed to keep moving constantly back and forth for two hours 
at a stretch. 

A comrade would be on a similar beat either side of me but 
one was not allowed to have any conversation with comrades on 
guard. Say I want to tell you its a lonesome job specially if the 
night is cloudy and dark. Its an awful good time to think of 
home and soft warm bed and all that. Then I would say to my- 
self — what's the use. When the stars are shining I always look 
for the dipper and the north star. They are both a little lower 
down here than in the North but they look just as friendly as they 
did in Wisconsin. There is a sort of companionship in the stars 
when one is alone. I remember how I used to look up at the stars 
when I was out trapping alone with old Prince, over Traverse 
Creek or in Borst Valley. The barking of foxes and the snort 
of passing deer would keep me awake for hours. Old Prince and 
I slept under the same blankets with nothing over us but the sky. 

Ah, but those delightful days are no more and I am here 
in far away Kentucky. Confound it there goes the drum. It 
means put on your belts and get out for drill. 

Good bye, 




Columbus, Ky., March 5th. 1863. 
25th Wis., Vol. Infantry 

Dear Folks at Home: I sent you a letter a day or two ago 
and maybe I will hear from you soon. I hope I shall. I am 
well and we are hearing and seeing things and the days are not 
so heavy as at Madison. The weather is fine — most of the time 
warm and clear. 

We drill every day, do police work, cleaning round the camp, 
and take a stroll now and then back in the country, fai as the 
pickets will let us. We are really in the "Sunny South." The 
slaves, contrabands, we call them, are flocking into Columbus 
by the hundred. General Thomas of the regular army is here 
enlisting them for war. All the old buildings on the edge of the 
town are more than full. You never meet one but he jerks his 
hat off and bows and shows the whitest teeth. I never saw a 
bunch of them together but I could pick out an Uncle Tom, a 
Quimbo, a Sambo, a Chloe, an Eliza, or any other character in 
Uncle Tom's Cabin. The women take in a lot of dimes washing 
for the soldiers, and the men around picking up odd jobs. I like 
to talk with them. They are funny enough, and the stories they 
tell of slave life are stories never to be forgotten. Ask any of 
them how he feels and the answer nearly always will be, "Sah, 
I feels mighty good, sah," or "God bress you, massa, I'se so 
proud I'se a free man." Some are leaving daily on up-river boats 
for Cairo and up the Ohio River. The Ohio has always been the 
river Jordan to the slave. It has been the dream of his life even 
to look upon the Ohio River. 

The government transports returning from down river points 
where they had been with troops or supplies would pick up free 
men on every landing and deliver them free of charge at places 
along the Ohio and upper Mississippi points. 

The slaves are not all black as we in the North are apt to 
suppose. Some of them are quite light. Those used as house 
servants seem to have some education and don't talk so broad. 
A real pretty yellow girl about 18 was delivering some washing 
to the boys yesterday. She left her master and mistress in 
December and came to Columbus. In answer to the questions 
of the boys she said she left home because her mistress was cross 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


to her and all other servants since Lincoln's emancipation. She 
said her mother came with her. One of the boys asked her why 
her father did not come with her. She said, "My father hain't 
no colored man, he's a white man." When the boys began to 
laugh she picked up her two-bushel basket of clothes, balanced 
it on her head and went her way. That girl must have made 
fifty stops among the tents leaving her basket of clothes. I 
wonder if she heard the same dirty talk in each of them. The 
talk wasn't clean, but some of us who tho't so just let it pass 
and kept still. 

The talk now is our regiment will be divided — half sent up 
the Ohio to Ft. Donelson, the other half down the river. But 
this may be but one of many like rumors. There is always some- 
thing in the air. Say but the picture before me as I write this is 
fine. I am sitting on the rampart of the Fort 200 feet above 
the river. The river, turbid and swollen from melting snows 
in Ohio and Indiana, boils and swirls as its mighty current strikes 
the bluff almost directly below where I sit. A regiment of cavalry 
has just landed from a government boat, and is climbing the 
bluff in a long winding column. The horses are fresh and they 
come prancing along, the swords of their riders jingling as if 
they were proud of their part in the scene. They don't know 
where they are going but doubtless to garrison some post farther 
south in the state. Wrote Ben Gardner some time ago, am 
afraid he has fallen or taken prisoner. He has always been 
prompt to answer. His regiment is south of Memphis. 

I am afraid you will think me given too much to frequent 
and long letters, but I remember father's advice never to limit 
postage or letter paper expenses. 

I should have mentioned that while the health of the boys 
is good in the main, we have some twenty in regimental hospital. 
Nathan Mann of our company and Orlando Adams of Mondovi 
are not expected to live.^ These poor fellows are victims of the 
measles and were sick with me in the hospital at St. Cloud, Minn. 

Direct as before to Columbus. 

Your son, 


' Nathan Mann died at Columbus, April 13. 1863. Orlando Adams was sent north 
but died in Grant County, Wisconsin, June 18. 1803. Charles Kstabrook. ]i'i.<tcoufin 
Losses in the Civil War (Madison, 1915), 127, 130. 



Columbus, Ky., March 10th 1863. 
25th. Wis. Vol. Inft. 

Dear Parents: Rec'd a letter from home yesterday. It 
came to Columbus and was remailed to me at Cairo where our 
company had made a halt enroute with five other companies to 
Ft. Donelson. We stopped at Cairo to get our new guns. They 
are not here but we are going to wait for them. Cairo is not so 
muddy as when we came here in February. Still the water in 
the river is 12 feet higher than the prairie behind the town. The 
levee or filling is all that saves the town from drowning. 

I am sorry you are so frightened when you read of the big 
guns and stacks of cannon balls. I thought I had a more coura- 
geous mother. You know it is said that it takes ten ton of iron 
and lead to kill one soldier. Just think of that and take courage. 
They looked kind of ugly to me at first but now I never think of 
their being fearsome. We may have a different feeling about 
them when the time comes to use them. I stood guard last night 
on a government transport loaded with hardtack and sow belly, 
I never saw so many rats, the boat was swarming with them. 
Of course they had plenty to eat. I counted more than a hundred 
rat holes in the cracker boxes. The day before we left Columbus 
a steamboat tried to pass down by the fort without landing. 
She was hailed and ordered to land. It was found that she was 
loaded from St. Lewis with medical supplies, mostly quinine for 
the rebel forces at Vicksburg. Of course the boat and its cargo 
were confiscated. 

I am glad you like your new team so well. I hope they will 
be all right. I shall want a cutter to match them when I get back 
so I can step round a little. 

Say, mother, I had a question asked me yesterday by Elder 
Harwood, our Chaplain, that set me to thinking and stumped me 
so I couldn't answer. He asked me if I would go with him after 
the war. He said he wanted to get five or six good smart young 
boys that would go with him thru college. I answered that I 
could not say at once but would tell him later. Now mother, 
advise me what to say to him. The Elder is a minister of course, 
and altho he did not say, I suppose he meant to educate us for 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


the ministry. Mr. Harwood is a mighty fine man and I like to 
hear him talk. He preached the other Sunday in one of the 
churches in Columbus, and in his prayer he thanked God for the 
freedom of the slaves. Some of the boys don't like this in him, 
but they are mostly the tough sort. I was in his tent when a 
colored woman brot his washing and he spoke to her as nicely 
as if she was a white woman. When she curtseyed and called him 
massa, he said, "My poor woman I am not your massa, you have 
no massa any more. President Lincoln has made all the colored 
people free just like the white folks." The poor woman kept 
saying, "Bress de Lord, bress de Lord, dis am de yeah of jubilee." 
When he handed her a fifty cent scrip to pay for the washing she 
looked at the picture of Lincoln on the corner of the bill, and 
putting it to her mouth, kissed it. The Elder asked her what she 
did that for, and she answered, "O bress you, honey, Massa Abra- 
ham Lincoln is de first and onliest Savior of us poor niggahs, an 
we des love dat face of his." 

The order to go to Ft. Donelson has been recalled and we are 
to go back in a day or so to Columbus, I am glad of anything 
to get us out of these rat hole barracks. They run over our faces 
at night and we can't sleep. When I remember the talks of 
Elder Morse and father about the wrongs of the slaves, I wish 
they might be in Columbus a few days and see and hear them as 
I have. 

Your son. 


Columbus, Ky., March 20th, 1863. 
25th. Wisconsin Vol. 
Dear Mother: The six companies of our Regt. ordered 
last week to Ft. Donelson returned to Columbus last night after 
a week's stay at Cairo. Glad to get back to the top of the big 
bluff once more. We got here at midnight. There is an awful 
flood in the Ohio pouring into the Mississippi at Cairo from 
the melting snow above, and the seething water is bhick as nmd. 
The air of our camp is fine compared to the miasma of Cairo. 
A short time ago I read a letter in the Ahna Journal purporting 



to be a dream by S. S. Cooke. It suited the boys to a dot. Some 
of them tho't it was a daydream with his senses and eyes wide 
open. It seems you are still having winter weather. Grass here 
is fine picking for cattle and there is a lazy summer-like quietness 
in the air. The trees are leafing and the spring birds are here in 
force. I have seen several gray thrush in my strolls in the woods 
and strings of ducks and wild geese are passing north daily. Well 
if I was a wild goose I suppose I would go north too. 

March 21st. After drill went out in the edge of the woods. 
Its more peaceful and homelike than the racket of the camp. I 
can see the picket guard beyond me slowly pacing his beat. There 
is no enemy about but the discipline and regulations are just as 
rigid as they are in Georgia. No white man can come within 
the picket line except he has the password. A negro is allowed to 
come in. We are afraid that the whites may be spies, we know 
that the blacks are our friends. The health of the regiment is good 
save a few cases of bowel trouble. The boys call it the Kentucky 
quickstep. There is more sickness among the poor lazy blacks. 
They are filling all the vacant houses and even sleeping under the 
trees, so anxious are they to get near de "Lincoln soldiers." They 
live on scraps and whatever they can pick up in camp and they 
will shine our shoes or do any camp work for an old shirt or 
cast-off coat. They had a revival meeting at the foot of the bluff 
last night and such shouting and singing and moaning. It was 
Massa Lincoln was a savior that came after two hundred years of 
tribulation in the cotton fields and cane. They had long known 
that something was going to happen because so many times their 
massa had visitors and they would tell the servants to stay in 
their cabins and not come to the "big house" until they were 
called. Then some of the house servants would creep round under 
the windows and hear the white folks talking about the war and 
that the slaves were going to be free. And when the one that 
was sent to listen would come back and tell the others, they would 
get down on their knees and pray in whispers and give thanks 
to the Lord. Everything with the darkies is Lord, Lord. Their 
faith that the Lord will help them has held out more than 200 
years. I sometimes wonder if the Lord is not partial to the white 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


race and rather puts it onto the black race because they are 
black. We sometimes get terribly confused when we try to 
think of the law of Providence. This black race for instance, 
they can't talk ten words about slavery and old Massa and old 
Missus, but they get in something about "de blessed Lord and 
de lovely Jesus" and yet in this land of Washington, God has 
permitted them to be bought and sold like our cattle and our 
hogs in the stockyards, for more than 200 years. I listened for 
two hours this morning to the stories of a toothless old slave 
with one blind eye who had come up the river from near Memphis. 
He told me a lot of stuff. He said his master sold his wife and 
children to a cotton planter in Alabama to pay his gambling 
debts, and when he told his master he couldn't stand it, he was 
tied to the whipping post stripped and given 40 lashes. The next 
night he ran to the swamps. The bloodhounds were put on his 
track and caught him and pulled him down. They bit him in 
the face and put out his eye and crushed one of his hands so he 
could not use it. He stripped down his pants and showed me a 
gash on one of his hips where one of the hounds hung onto him 
until he nearly bled to death. This happened in sight of Nash- 
ville, the capital of Tennessee. I told this to some of the boys 
and they said it was all bosh, that the niggers were lying to me. 
But this story was just like the ones in Uncle Tom's Cabin and 
I believe them. And father knows of things very much like this 
that are true. 

I will write you again soon. 

Your son, 


Columbus, Ky., March 25th, 1863. 
25th Regiment Wise. Vol. 

Dear Father: 

Your latest letter rec'd. I am perfectly happy 
to know that all are well at home. Don't worry about my morals 
or my health, I am taking pretty good care of both. The life 
of the soldier is not a very good refomi school, but a boy can keep 
clean in the army, bad as it is around him, if ho has the stuff 
in him. Our Lieutenant Colonel was talking about the loose 



ways of some of the soldiers the other day. He said there would 
be one man if he lived that would go home as clean as when he 
entered the army, meaning himself of course. 

Dan Hadley got a letter from Geo. W. Gilkey the other day. 
It was a nice friendly letter. He said he hoped we would hurry 
up and lick the rebels so we could come home as they needed our 
society in Buffalo Co. He said the girls were all waiting for a 
soldier boy. Mr. Gilkey seems to be a fine man. I see by the 
northern papers there is talk of conscripting. Are you in the 
conscript limit .^^ I hope not. I would hate to see you in the army. 
I don't think the government will need any more soldiers. They 
are planning a big campaign on the Potomac to try and break 
Lee's army. Grant has driven Gen. Pemberton into Vicksburg 
and is closing in around that city. The move seems to be to 
lay siege and starve him out. . . . 

There are some rebel officers in prison here. I was on provost 
guard the other day and stood on a post near a barred window of 
the jail. I could see four or five young-looking fellows in the 
room walking back and forth in their grey uniforms, trimmed 
in fancy gold braid and shoulder straps. They would call me 
up to the window and try to make snakes out of me. They said 
I was a black Republican and that I was fighting for the niggers 
and didn't know it. The oldest one talked like a gentleman, 
asked me a lot of questions about Wisconsin, and said he had a 
boy in the Southern army about my age. 

Since the hot weather we are all getting our hair shaved off. 
Mine is cut close to my scalp. Boats are passing daily loaded 
with troops for Vicksburg. It begins to look warlike in that 
vicinity. There will be a big battle if Pemberton will come 
outside his breastworks and fight. We look any day for orders 
to go down there. We don't know the names of the troops that 
go by but we always give them a good big hurrah and they send 
it back with a roar. 

We expect the 27th Wisconsin here tomorrow. We will make 
them welcome as we have a lot of picket duty for the force at this 
place. Yes I wish you would send me the Sentinel while we stay 
here at least. Northern papers are peddled in camp at from 
ten to fifteen cents apiece. 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


It's nice that you have some fresh cows. Better not try to 
raise the calves, you have so much else to do. We get pretty 
good milk from the nearby farmers but they don't know how to 
make butter. Its white and rank. The cows down here are a 
poor starved looking race. They have no grass for hay much to 
depend on, they have cornstalks for feed in winter. The Blue 
Grass region is away east of here. That is the home too of the 
Kentucky horses we have read about. 

Well, the boys are putting on their belts getting ready for 
the call to drill, so I must close for this time. 

Love to all, 
Your son, 


Columbus, Ky., 25th Regt. 
April 10th, 1863. 

Dear Mother: 

Your much valued letter received. I am just 
as glad as I can be that all are well, but there is a tone of plaint as 
to things I can't understand. It must be you have the blues. 
Don't think of me as being in danger for a minute, for I am having 
a royal good time. Its this way with me. If I have the blues it 
is when I get a fit on of thinking of the past when I didn't do as 
I should. I guess you would call it remorse. Some of the younger 
fellows and I have talked these things over and I find they were 
kind of troubled in the same way. They said it made them feel 
awful mean when they remembered some sly things or some 
deception they played on their mother and father. These things 
bring on homesickness and that sends them to the hospital, 
because they can't eat and so are put down on the sick list. I 
think as much of home as any of them but I don't want to see it 
until we thrash the rebs to a finish. We have four Wisconsin 
regiments at this place, the 25, 27, 31 and 34, a full brigade. 
You have doubtless heard that the Governor is enlisting negroes 
and forming negro regiments. They are officered by whites 
and there are a lot of candidates for positions in nil the wliiio 
regiments. Some 25 have applied for positions from our roginiont . 



There is a lot of joking on the side about the fellows that want 
to officer the nigger regiments. Our regiment has just drawn 
a new outfit of rubber blankets, hats and short coats. Enclosed 
you will find some flowers given me by a poor black washer- 
woman I met on the road up the bluff today with a bundle of 
clothes on her head. As she handed them to me she said, "Please 
massa will you 'cept dese flowers from a poor nigger woman who 
jes loves de Lincoln soldiers. Maybe you has a sweetheart and 
will send um to her." I told her I had a sweetheart, my mother, 
and she said "You's a good boy, honey." The black folks are 
awful good, poor miserable things that they are. The boys 
talk to them fearful and treat them most any way and yet they 
can't talk two minutes but tears come to their eyes and they 
throw their arms up and down and praise de Lord for de coming 
of de Lincoln soldiers. 

In your last letter you spoke of my going to school, if I ever 
return. I am not bothering about things so far in the future. 
I am troubled about this awful war. Maybe I ought to think 
more of Webster, as father keeps jibing me about my spelling. 
If he will give me time I will learn to spell too as I ain't but 16 
years old, that is I'll be 17 on the 15th of May if there has been 
no juggling with the family register. 

By the way I nearly lost some valuables the other night. I 
was on provost guard, the other night in town, at the depot. My 
relief had lain down at 11 o'clock for a four-hour sleep. At 3 
o'clock in the morning we were routed to go on guard. Feeling 
in my pockets I found my gold pen missing. My money I had 
placed in my shirt pocket was safe. The comrade next me lost 
$17. In the morning my gold pen and holder was found in the 
mud near the platform. A detective force has been looking for 
the thieves but they don't find any thieves. Word has just come 
that Nathan Mann of our Co. has just died in the hospital. Poor 
fellow, he has two brothers left in our company. 

A skirmish yesterday at Hickman, 26 guerillas were captured 
and bro't to this place for confinement as prisoners of war. There 
is nothing very stirring about us. The boys are getting tired of 
mere guard duty and are hoping for any chance that will send 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 333 

us to the front. For my part I ain't dying to go to Vicksburg 
where there is a better chance of getting killed as some claim 
they are. Maybe they are more anxious to die for their country 
than I am but from what I know of them I am doubtful. There is 
nothing farther from my mind at this writing than a wish to die 
for anybody or anything. I am hoping and praying for anything 
to make the rebels squeal and call it quits so I can come home and 
have a good time. Of course I am willing to take my chance, 
come what may, but I would a little rather live, come what may. 

Tell Elder Morse Henry is all right and eats, if any difference 
more than his rations every day. 

Love to all. 

Your son, 


Head Quarters 25th Regt. Wis. Vol. Inft. 
Columbus, Ky. 

April 15th, 1863 

Dear Father: Yours of April 9th came in due time. I 
am so glad all are well and that you are so cheerful and hopeful 
that the war will soon end. 

You must be very brave to undertake so much work as you 
have planned, this spring. I have just received a letter from 
cousin Ben Gardner, whose regiment is camped just back of 
Memphis, Tennessee. You know he is in the cavalry. He says 
he is orderly and having a good time. Plenty of rations, no bullets 
to face and regular pay. He says, *T hope to meet you my son 
and talk over family matters and get a good look at you." I'll 
bet he is a lively fellow and loves a good time. He writes about 
the war as if it was a picnic. I enclose his last letter. He has no 
fear of rebel bullets, you can see that. 

We moved our camp yesterday over near the brow of the 
over-hanging bluff. The view is much finer especially of the 
Mississippi. Say, father, do you know I never look at the river 
but I think of home. I go down to the shore nearly every day to 
wash my feet. When I dip my hand in the water I think that it 
comes from Wisconsin and I wonder what part of it came from 



Beef River. It is terribly black and muddy, made so by the water 
of the Missouri that flows into it above St. Louis. From our new 
camp we can see the daily mail boat, 12 or 15 miles away, that 
brings us good and bad news from home and from Washington. 

Last night I lay awake for hours listening to the honk honk 
of the wild geese passing over our camp toward the north. Does 
the dam which we repaired, the beaver dam east, still hold? If 
it does you must have plenty of shooting at ducks and geese this 
spring. Don't think me homesick, father, when I tell you I turned 
over many times in my bunk last night thinking of the stories 
you told me of the early French traders who broke the great 
beaver dams to get the beavers and so destroyed the nesting places 
of the wild ducks and geese that made their homes in our valley 
and on the neighboring creeks before the coming of the whites. 
That novel called The Prairie Flower still sticks in my craw. I 
never read any book that so haunted me, sleeping or awake. 
I remember that you told me that it was poison to read such stuff, 
but I don't believe it has hurt me. The people in The Prairie 
Flower were not in fear of any law but they did right in the midst 
of the Sioux Indians and the lonesome hills and wild animals 
about them. I remember you said "Prairie Flower" was a fic- 
titious character, an unreal character, and that women were not 
as good on the average as she was painted. Well, father, I thought 
you might be wrong then but now I have come to think that you 
were right. Getting back to ducks and geese and the beavers, 
how I wish I might be with you this spring. What lots of fun 
you are having. All this passed through my mind last night as 
I lay in my tent with the lappel thrown back so I could see the 
north star and the dipper. Both of them are nearer the horizon 
than in Wisconsin. But they brought to me in their silence and 
sameness something of the nearness of home. 

The deep, dark forests on the Missouri side reaching back for 
miles are slowly turning to green. Spring is here and no mistake. 
The freshness of the grass and leaves, the golden sunshine and 
carol of birds in every tree, give no hint of this human war. One 
thing I most forgot. I expressed $20 with Capt. Dorwin to 
Durand. You may have to go to his home for it. His family 
lives about three miles from Durand. I have an overcoat I wish 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


was home. I will give it away to the first darkey that looks like 
Uncle Tom. I know there are some greybacks in it. I would 
rather put the greybacks on some darkey than on mother, for I 
know she dreads such things. 

I send you today a couple of Southern papers. One, The 
War Eagle, printed at this place, the other a Vicksburg sheet full 
of brag and bluster about fooling the Yankees. They are a fair 
specimen of Southern newspapers. Are there any copperheads 
up there? It makes the boys mad to read of copperheads at home. 
They are more dangerous than rebels at the front because the 
South is made to believe they have lots of friends in the North. 
They had better lay low if we ever get home. They will find its 
no joke to the South. 

How I should like to have a brotherly tussel with brother K. 
and I think of the boys so often. Well, we will have a good time 
when the war is over. 

How does Henry Amidon prosper? Confound him he has 
forgotten old times I guess. I have written him but he don't 
answer. I asked him in my letter if he remembered the time his 
father caught us down by the swimming pool laying in the hot 
sand stark naked and covering ourselves with the sand. I never 
was more ashamed in my life than when his father hollared and 
yelled to see us and we rolled into the creek to hide. Henry didn't 
mind it as much as I did. O, but those were happy days and we 
didn't know it. 

Father, good bye till next week. 

Your son, 


Columbus, Ky., May 3rd, 1863. 

Hd. Quarters, 25th. Wis., Vol. Inft. 

Dear Sister: I am pleased that you have a good school and 
a good boarding place. That strapping boy so dull in his lessons 
may come handy in a fight with the others some time. Try and 
get home to see the folks often. Mother is worried for fear our 
regiment will be sent to Vicksburg where Grant is (X)llo( ting 
a big army to storm the city. There are no rumors of our going 



of late, tho troops are passing down the river daily bound for 

So Ezra C. is writing home some dreadful tales of guns and 
drums and gory battles? Let me tell you a bit of a secret. I 
don't want to dispute anybody, but he has not fired a gun. His 
story of the groans of the wounded and dying and the din of 
battle does his imagination more credit than his sense of truth. 
I know where their regiment is posted and if they have been in 
any fights, the war department don't know of it. 

Our Colonel has granted 100 furloughs to the regiment which 
means 10 men to each company. Those that are sick and con- 
valescent will get the preference. I am glad I am not in either list 
of unfortunates. I am feeling fine. I believe I have recovered 
from every ill effect of the measles in Minnesota. Poor Orlando 
Adams of Mondovi is still down and may never get better. 
Orlando has applied for a discharge, but they are hard to get. I 
wish he might go home for he is a very sick boy, and some say 
there is no hope for him. John Le Gore and one or two Mondovi 
boys are going to get furloughs. 

Some new war songs have struck camp lately. One of them is 
"When Johnny Comes Marching Home." The band boys tent, 
Chet Ide's headquarters, gets the new songs first. If there is 
anything funny about them, we can hear Chet laugh his peculiar 
hearty laugh. Another darkey song, "Babylon is Fallen," has 
been going the rounds. It begins, "Don't you see de black cloud 
risen ober yonder, whar de ole plantation am?" I was in a saloon 
down town yesterday with a lot of the boys, some darkies were 
singing it. I could have heard it all day. The boys would chip 
in a penny each and the black fellows sang it over and over. Then 
they got the negroes to butting. Alec Harvey gave five cents, 
I gave five, and a lot of others. The darkies would back off like 
rams and come together head to head. They said it did not hurt, 
but I believe it did. The boys kept setting them on by giving 
them 5 cent scrip. The darkies were kept about half drunk to give 
them grit. 

I was on picket duty the day I got your letter, about two 
miles in the country. I went to a house near my beat and found 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


a lot of Union girls, anyway they said they were for the Union. 
One of them asked me my age. When I told her she said that was 
just about her age. They gave me a lunch of corn bread and a 
piece of pork. When I came away I got some milk in my coffee 
can and a piece of Johnnie cake for 10 cents. I saw three blacks, 
two men and a woman working around. I don't know whether 
they were slaves or hired help. I am going to get a pass one of 
these days and go back and buy some of the old lady's butter. 
Of course I ain't thinking about the girls. I have lately found out 
there are a lot of fellows getting passes to go into the country 
for milk and butter that are lying like troopers. It ain't milk 
they want nor butter. They are looking for pretty girls or rich 
widows. Such things are common talk in the tents after the 
candles are lit until bedtime. Some of them have got so far in 
their fancies that they say they are coming back to Columbus 
after the war is over. 

By the way, have you got that box of clothing yet.^^ You 
say nothing about it. 

I often think of you and father singing together the plantation 
songs of the slaves. But do you know I would give O, so much 
if you could have heard what I heard last night. A steamboat 
from St. Louis lay here at wharf last night waiting for orders. 
After unloading its freight, the deck hands, all darkies, joined in 
singing a lot of plantation songs. I sat on some cotton bales 
watching them and listening to their curious speech. They 
gathered on the forecastle of the boat and for more than an hour 
sang the most pitiful songs of slave life I ever heard. The negroes 
may not know much, but they sing the most sorrowful songs in 
the sweetest voices I ever heard. It is wrong for me to have 
wished you here to hear them, because you would have shed tears. 
Just before I left one of them came up the gang plank near me. 
I asked him how long he had been free. He said he quit his old 
massa in Tennessee last December and shipped on the steamer, 
Natchese, at Memphis. I asked him where he learned the songs 
he had been singing. He answered *T don't know, massa, cept 
de jes growed up wid me. Seems like I always knowed um. 
Maybe I learned um from my old mammy who used to sing um 



wid me fore she was sol' down in Alabama." As the poor black 
wretch shulffled along past me (he had no. clothes above his waist) 
I noticed scars across his back as if made by a whip. 

I paid 10 cents for a New York paper yesterday. It had a 
speech in it by Wendell Phillips on the horrors of slavery. I 
am just beginning to see what made father walk the floor and say 
hard things about the slaveholders after reading a speech by 
Wendell Phillips. 

You will get this letter when you go home. 

Death to copperheads. 

Your brother, 


Columbus, Ky., May 12th 1863, 
Hd. Quarters 25th Wise. 

Dear Mother: At last we are under marching orders for the 
South. Hurrah. The orders came yesterday and I am just 
writing to tell you the glad news. I don't know why, but the boys 
are clear gone wild about it. They say they enlisted to fight and 
they want to fight. We have some rebel prisoners down town and 
they have been talking pretty saucy to the guard. They say one 
Butternut (that is the color of their uniform) is good for four 
Yanks. Poor ignorant devils. * * * They don't know but little 
more than the negroes, they use the same brogue. If you shut 
your eyes you would think from their jargon you was talking to 
a lot of "niggers" as they call the blacks. A call for dress parade. 
I suspect some important order will be read. Will finish later. 

May 13th. This morning we were relieved from further 
marching orders and told to resume our former quarters. Last 
night came a rush order to strike camp and march double quick 
to a boat lying at the wharf. I had just gone to bed like the 
others and was asleep. Orderlies were rushing from one tent to 
another calling the boys to up and dress and fall in. In ten 
minutes time or less every tent along the ten company streets was 
struck and the match applied to everything of bedding and bunk 
boards that would burn. Eck Harvey and Bill Anderson, the 
twins, as they were called, the two biggest men in the company, 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


had just come up from town and were feeling pretty well. They 
were swearing and calling it a rebel scare. After everything was 
in a blaze and the companies lining up for orders a cavalryman 
came dashing along bound for the Colonel's tent. What did the 
messengers mean.f^ Was it a countermanding order or was it a 
hurry order The order came to return to camp, and the camp 
all in a blaze. Such a howl as went up from a thousand mad men 
you never heard. I am sure it must have looked to the hundreds 
of negroes who were watching us as if the devil with all his fire- 
works and his imps had come to Columbus. This is but one 
incident of that suspense peculiar to the life of the soldier. Here 
we had packed up our movables and burned the rest, and it was 
midnight and dark but for the fire. We lay down and pulled 
over us for the rest of the night the tent cloth and we went to 
sleep and dreamed of home and of father and mother just the 

While we were eating our breakfast our good Lieut. Colonel 
ordered us to lose no time in falling in without arms. We were 
in line in a twinkling and waiting for further orders. The colonel 
then told us that Gen. Hooker had won a victory and he wanted 
us to give three great big cheers and a lot of tigers. And they 
were loud and long. Before this letter reaches you, you will have 
heard of Hooker's victory. Old Hooker is a fox. Old Hooker is a 
coon, is the praise heard on every side. And he deserves it all if 
what we hear is true. I heartily wish he had the bloody 25th in 
his command. If he had I kind of think we would have a chance 
to work off some of our conceit and surplus patriotism. Though 
we never met the enemy it is our belief no thousand rebels ever 
stood in line of battle that could take our colors. 

The 11th Missouri came through here yesterday from Clinton 
12 miles from this place. They are a hard favored set of war worn 
veterans. They had seen service. I never saw in my life such a 
sight as followed in their rear. Such human beings, once slaves. 
Some were black as ebony with great pitiful, white, rolling eyes, 
and some nearly white and as pretty and polite as any woman I 
ever saw. I wonder mother if you ever thought what it is to be 
a slave, that is for the women, the mothers and daughters. I have 



thought it all out and I will tell you some time if I ever come 

Some sardine of a scamp pulled the rope out of our flag pole 
the other day. Ten dollars was offered anyone who would climb 
the pole and put it in the pole again. As I write there is a daring 
fellow on the tip top of the pole putting the rope in the pulley. As 
Lieutenant Brackett has skipt, our orderly has been promoted to 
second lieutenant and our second to first lieutenant. Sergeant 
McKay of Mondovi takes the first sergeant's place and Adam 
Heinbeaugh of Mondovi comes in as 8th corporal. I think we 
have the best set of officers in the regiment. We have a bully 
captain even if he did try to resign at one time. Captain Dorwin 
is a real good man. I would rather go into battle with him than 
any other man on the job. He can't keep step to the music, but he 
aint to blame. It just happens there is no time or music about 
him. The boys make fun of him but they like him just the same. 

The fellows that were promoted had to set up the beer, and 
the way some of the brave lads drank to their health was a bit 
saddening to see. Of course your son had to drink some beer, not 
to be out of fashion, tho to tell the whole truth he had joined the 
cold water society. My excuse is I was told I could drink cider, 
and I find I can't so I was deceived. But I promise you, mother, 
I have not touched a drop of whiskey nor will I while I am in the 
army. I have never forgotten the firm stand father took soon as 
he found he liked the taste of drink, and I never shall. I never 
took a swallow of beer but I felt as guilty as a thief. I wrote 
sister D. only the other day. Love to the boys and father. 

Your son 


Columbus, Ky. May 23rd, 1863. 

Hd. Quarters, 25th Wis. Infantry. 
Dear Mother: I sent you a long letter the other day but 
I forgot to mention my birthday. In fact I was not reminded 
of it until the day after but it has come and gone. I am sure if 
I had been at home my good mother would have reminded me of 
it in the shape of something good to eat. I don't know as I am 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


any older feeling than I was two weeks ago and the future looks 
just the same. When I see an old person I never think of being 
that way myself. Maybe the Lord will perform a miracle and 
keep me young like the story in the Old Testament, but if he 
doesn't I am pretty well satisfied to be in this good old world. 
When I go back in the country, away from the sight of these big, 
black cannons sticking their muzzles through the portholes of the 
fort, and look up to the green of the trees, and hear the hum of the 
bees and the twitter of the birds, and see the peaceful quiet of 
the country, it is hard to realize that the country is being torn 
to pieces in a big war. 

Dear mother, I should have answered your last letter more 
promptly. I have written so many of late. I had almost for- 
gotten I owed you one. You know it is said everything is fair in 
war, and I know you will excuse me. 

During the last four days we have been shading our tents with 
brush. I tell you we have been fixed up nice. Standing off a 
little ways one can hardly see the tents and it makes it so much 
cooler. Hot? Well I should remark. These May days in old 
Kentucky make everybody loll but the darkies and nobody thinks 
of them. The heat pretty near drove us out of the tents in mid 
day. We take turns going over to the hospital to fan the sick boys 
and brush away the flies. The doctors say the younger ones are 
dying of homesickness much as anything. 

Some of my chums and myself have been skylarking out in 
the country of late and we have visited a lot of pretty Kentucky 
homes. In a good many of them I am sure they hated to see us 
come in. They might be Union people but they hate to see us 
talking to their slaves and the soldiers were a little saucy where 
they thought they were not wanted. We would hunt the straw- 
berry beds and eat them too. We would call for milk, butter, 
apples, and other good things to eat. Most of these peopk^ we 
knew were our bitter enemies and some of the boys were afraid 
their bread was poisoned. We found some places where we wore 
invited into the house and where the young ladies would smile 
and would talk to us about our homes. We knew these smiling 
young ladies might have been traitors and might have spies 



hidden away to hear what was being said. The dwellings or 
cabins of the slaves were mostly empty. Here and there we saw 
a few old negroes who chose to stay by 01 Missus and Masser to 
leaving their old Kentucky home to go out into a strange world. 
These old slaves were awful shy and always made some excuse to 
get away when we tried to talk to them. I suppose they were 
afraid Masser would see them. I often wonder where the poor 
blacks will go to find a home and something to eat. Those I have 
talked with say they are treated better now since they can run 
away without being chased by dogs. 

We found a pretty country home the other day where the 
young lady took us out in her flower garden and gave each of us 
a bunch of flowers. I am sure her mother did not like to see us 
there. She had a cross look on her face and watched us thru the 
window as if she feared we might capture the girl and run away 
with her. When we went away one of the Durand boys told the 
girl he hoped to come back after the war and making the prettiest 
bow she said she hoped he would. When we went back to camp 
we told Chet Ide and Joel Harmon of Mondovi what a picnic 
we had and we all joined in and sang "Our Old Kentucky Home." 
I found out a strange thing lately, the darkies don't know any- 
thing about the song, of "Old Kentucky Home," except as they 
have picked it up from hearing the whites sing it. I guess I 
must have thought it came out of some negro's heart. Anyway 
whenever I met a negro alone anywhere I always wanted to ask 
him to sing that song. Those I did ask would smile and grin and 
say "Massa, I don't know it." Their ignorance of the song gave 
me a curious feeling. 

This is a long letter. I hope it will find you all well as I am 
and happy. Love to the boys father and sister Do. 

Your boy, 

Columbus Ky. May 29th, 1863 
Hd. Quarters 25th. 

My dear Mother: 

Your last letter came in due time, just two and a half days 
from the hour it was written. It must have been dated wrong. 
I got a letter from father the same day. It had been held up 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


somewhere. I suppose the mail clerks get things mixed some- 

We are under orders to march on short notice. We don't 
know if it means to go south, north, east, or west. It means just 
one thing and nothing else — "be ready." A soldier can't find any 
fault and if he does he is put in the guardhouse or if on a march 
he is tied up by the thumbs. 

We have cooked up five days' rations and are ready at the 
first note of command to fall in. I am in a mighty hurry and 
must make this letter brief. Just another word. One of my mates 
wants me to say a good word for him to sister D. He is a nice 
clean fellow and all right. His only fault is quite common, he 
don't think the black race is just human. I can't beat him in 
argument but I know in my heart he is wrong about these poor, 
wretched black people. You need not get excited, marching 
orders may not mean anything. We may not strike tents for a 
month yet. 

May 30th. Was out last night where the evening gun, a 
black cannon, booms the hour of sunset. A man pulls a string 
called a lanyard and a roar that shakes the great bluff follows, 
and all this means sunset. I learned last night what it meant in 
French. I was standing near the big black cannon which stands 
almost straight above the river some 300 feet. A negro sweep 
doing police work, a fine looking mulatto, was idly leaning upon 
his shovel and staring at a passing boat. "What are you thinking 
about?" I asked. Taking off his dirty cap and bowing, he 
answered with a smile, "I kind' hates to tell you, but I was 
thinking of my jewlarke." I didn't know what a "jewlarke" was 
so I asked him. "Why Massa," he answered, "just a sweetheart," 
and then he told me his story, how he was a slave in Louisiana, 
how he came out as cook for his master who was a lieutenant in a 
Louisiana regiment, how his master's cavalry company was 
surprised by Union cavalry, was fired upon by our boys, how he 
fell down to make believe he was dead and when our boys came 
up, he jumped to his feet and came back to Columbus with our 
boys. He had been at work in the fort at Cohimbus ever since. 
Whenever he spoke he took off his cap. I asked him what lie did 
that for. He said slaves had to do that in tlie South. I asked 



him if he was glad he was free and he said, "O yes Massa, I would 
be glad if I had my Kizzie wid me." The poor fellow took off 
his hat as he said this and slowly replaced it again. I am sure I 
saw tears in the fellow's eyes. The song of "Nellie Gray" came to 
my mind. It disappoints me that the negroes have never heard 
these songs. They stare at you when you sing them. While we 
were talking the gunner came, and fixing the lanyard pulled the 
cord with a jerk and with a mighty roar that sent a tremor thru 
the bluff and a black smoke that hid the river for a moment 
toM us that the sun had set and the flagman at headquarters 
slowly lowered the stars and stripes. "Soliquasha," said my 
colored friend. "What do you mean by that.^" I asked. That is 
French he replied meaning sunset. Here was a slave teaching me 
French, Mother do you know I asked myself this question, what 
right have I simply because I am white to be the master race, 
while this man knowing more than I should be a slave because he 
is black. He called himself a Creole; that is a negro born in 
Louisiana. He said he was born in a parish 50 miles from New 
Orleans. His master raised sugar and rice and they toted it on 
two- wheel carts to New Orleans where they sold it. His Massa's 
plantation was long side a live oak swamp that was full of deer, 
bear, and aligators. He said the "gaitors" warnt so bad as folks 
let on. "De niggers had a swimming hole in de bayou whar an 
old gaitor had raised a nest of young uns every year. In the 
winter the gaitors buried themselves like frogs in the mud. When 
they came out in the spring you could hear them bellow all night 
long." I don't know and I don't care whether this fellow was 
stuffing me or not. I was interested. Things he said about 
New Orleans and things he told me about his master's plantation 
away back in the swamps made me think of the story of Uncle 
Tom's Cabin. It looks as tho this war was to change all this. 
The South has had a mighty soft snap with darkies to do their 
work for a hundred years, while their masters have grown rich 
and insolent to us of the North. The papers don't say much 
about it but the truth is these slave-holders, these three hundred 
and fifty thousand chivalrous Southern gentlemen, who own some 
four million of poor ignorant fellows who pushed to the front and 
were mowed down by Union bullets don't know what they 
fighting for. Love to father, brother, and sister D. 

Your son, 



In the March, 1920 issue of this magazine was printed a 
noteworthy contribution by Dr. William Browning entitled, 
"The Early History of Jonathan Carver." Dr. Browning 
succeeded in clearing up for the first time the facts concerning 
the noted traveler's ancestry, showing with convincing force 
that he was of excellent descent, from the line of Robert Carver 
of Marshfield, brother of Governor John Carver, and that his 
immediate forbears and connections were among the leading 
men of Connecticut. Through the development of a clue to which 
our attention was directed by Miss Jannette Burlingham of 
Shullsburg, we are enabled to strengthen Dr. Browning's argu- 
ment by citing certain bits of information, at least one of which 
has an important bearing on the question of Jonathan Carver's 
descent from the brother of Governor Carver. 

Dr. Browning correctly supposes that David Carver of 
Canterbury (father of Jonathan) is identical w th David Carver, 
son of John and grandson of Robert Carver, born at Marshfield 
about the year 1668, but he is unable to cite any direct proof of 
this identity {Wisconsin Magazine of History y III, 301). The 
missing evidence is supplied by Miss Burlingham. In Edwin R. 
Hodgman, History of the Town of Westford . . . 1659-1883 
(Lowell, 1883), 491, it is stated that Robert Carver located at 
Marshfield in 1638 and died there in 1680. His son, John, born in 
1637, married Mellicent Ford of Marshfield. He died in 1679, 
aged forty-two years, leaving children: William, John, Robert, 
Eleazer, David, Elizabeth, Mercy, and Anna. ''David died in 
1727 in Canterbury, Connecticut''^ 

Certain interesting additional light on the problems raised 
by Dr. Browning is to be had from the history of Westford and 
references readily suggested by it. The date of David Carver's 
birth is placed by Browning as "about 1668 (anyway nearer 1670 
than 1663)." On what evidence he based this deduction the 
writer of the present note does not know. But its essential 
correctness is seen from the following considerations: William 

* Italics by the present writer. 


Historical Fragments 

Carver, eldest brother of David, was a notable character of 
Marshfield, dying in 1760, aged 102 years. He was born, there- 
fore, some time in 1658. If we assume that the other children 
born to John Carver came at intervals of two years, we get 1666 
as the year of David's birth. If we lengthen the interval to two 
and one-half years, we arrive at the year 1668. Three children 
were born after David, the last (on the assumption of the two and 
one-half year interval) about 1675, and the father died in 1679. 
It seems clear, from the facts noted, that David Carver could 
not have been born as early as 1663 and that he probably was born 
about 1668. 

The Probate Court proceedings in settling the estate of 
David Carver give the name of the surviving widow as Sarah 
(Browning, op. cit., 294). Browning shows that the wife of 
David and mother of Jonathan was Hannah Dyer of Weymouth. 
In arguing that David Carver of Weymouth and David of 
Canterbury are identical, he thus disposes of this discrepancy: 
"The name Sarah, as the widow of David, given once in the 
settlement of the estate, does not negative this conclusion. 
While it might be due to any one of several reasons, the real 
explanation evidently is connected with the following fact: Of 
the twenty-one entries of births or baptisms, as found recorded, 
in but one (that of Benjamin, last child of Ensign David) is there 
failure to record the mother's name. It is therefore apparent 
that something had happened to her before the entry was made." 

In fact nothing had happened to the mother of Benjamin 
but something had to Hannah Carver. From the history of West- 
ford we learn that David Carver "by his second wife, Sarah 
Butterfield of Chelmsford," had a son Benjamin, born in Canter- 
bury December 10, 1722. Further, that after the death of David 
Carver, in 1727 Sarah "returned to her native Chelmsford." 
Reference to the Chelmsford Vital Records (pp. 37, 197) discloses 
that Sarah Butterjfield was born September 23, 1701, and married 
January 14, 1721-22. Thus the fact which Browning correctly 
surmised stands clearly revealed. Hannah Carver died at some 
time subsequent to October 25, 1717 (when her daughter, Hannah, 
was born: Browning, op. cit., 299) and prior to January 14, 1722, 
when David Carver entered into an old-age union with a youthful 

The United States and Japan 


bride, Sarah Butterfield of Chelmsford. This fact explains, 
incidentally, the procedure of the Probate Court in appointing 
one guardian for the elder children of David Carver (Jonathan, 
David, and Hannah), and another guardian for Benjamin, the 
offspring of the second marriage. 

It seems proper to place on permanent record the foregoing 
facts which contribute in however slight degree to the elucidation 
of the interesting and long-baffling problem of Jonathan Carver's 
ancestry, which Dr. Browning has solved in such notable fashion 
in the pages of this magazine for March, 1920. 



Americans ever remember that it was our action that awoke 
Japan from her age-long slumber behind the seclusion of barred 
ports. In 1853 Matthew C. Perry, younger brother of the victor 
of Lake Erie, sailed four ships of war into the forbidden harbor of 
Tokio and insisted on the reception of an address from the presi- 
dent of the United States to the Mikado of Japan. The island 
nation was thrown into great excitement and consternation. 
Thousands of its people thronged the heights of the harbor to 
view the "black ships" that portended change and confusion. 
None had ever seen vessels propelled without oars or sails; and 
the slow, majestic motion of steam vessels seemed to them a sort 
of foreign magic. After several days of negotiation arrangements 
were made for the ceremonious reception of the naval commander 
by representatives of the Japanese government. July 14 Perry 
went on shore with a full escort of officers, sailors, and marines, 
marshaled by two brass bands, preceded by ensign bearers of 
the United States flag. Five thousand Japanese soldiers were 
drawn up to receive the unbidden strangers. Under a vast tent 
the government representatives welcomed Perry with great 
honors and took from his hand the golden casket conveying the 
message to their emperor. 

Somewhere in the mighty crowd that witnessed this ceremony 
was a Japanese artist who perpetuated his impression of the 
Americans in a characteristic wood-block print. A co])y of this 
historic relic has recently been presented to our Society by Mr. 


Historical Fragments 

Henry E. Knapp of Menomonie. The print is a curious comment 
on the mingling of the Occident and the Orient. The artistic 
conception is wholly Japanese, while the artist has caught the 
characteristic poise and swing of the marching Americans. Not 
being able to conceive of eyes without a slant, he has given the 
oriental tilt to that feature of the faces while the other features 
are purely Caucasian. The print is a small rectangle about eight 
by twelve inches in size. On a dim green background stand out 
eleven figures, three of whom are evidently marines, the remainder 
members of the band. The uniform of the former comprises 
bright-blue trousers, reddish blouses, and blue caps. Knapsacks 
are held in place by pale green straps crossing the blouse, and 
belts with round brass buckles complete the uniform. Each 
mar ne carries his long musket at "shoulder arms," and swings 
along in a care-free, easy stride so characteristically American that 
it is amusing. The members of the band wear white trousers and 
long, pale-blue swallowtail coats, fastened with brass buttons, 
and completed by a buckled belt. Their caps are the same as 
those of the marines. The leader, who is the only bearded man 
(represented with a funny brush mustache and goatee attached 
artificially to his face) appears to be carrying the staff of a flag. 
Each of the others has his instrument, long, huge-bellied horns, 
curving in front of him, with cheeks puffed out in the effort of 
playing. Two are drummers, and the observer can almost hear 
the rat-a-tat as the entire group swings along in marching step. 
Between two of the upright muskets is a cartouche bearing the 
Japanese characters for the word "America." The artist's name 
appears at the left. 

The print is much more than a cartoon. It is a real work of 
art. The coloring is harmonious, the soft blacks of the shoes, and 
the blues, whites, and reds of the uniforms blending into a 
pleasing whole. Moreover, the sense of life, of martial movement, 
is wonderfully wrought. More than that, the artist has re- 
markably caught the spirit of America, the insouciant interest 
in adventure, the blithe confidence in ourselves, the fling of 
youthful bravado. With such steps and in such a spirit did our 
lads fare forth afar in 1917 and 1918. Even as early as 1853 the 


Napoleonic Soldiers in Wisconsin 


keen-eyed Japanese had caught the glimpse of what is seen as 
"the Americans come." 

Louise P. Kellogg 


How many soldiers who fought for or against Napoleon 
Bonaparte at Waterloo, or before, are buried in Wisconsin? 
Doubtless a considerable number. With practically all of Europe 
having been an armed camp for the better part of a generation, 
it was inevitable in the emigration following the Napoleonic 
upheaval that many restless and enterprising spirits should find 
their way to the Western World with the promise of greater 
security and lesser prospects of oppression and military impress- 
ment. It is a matter of interesting history, of course, that some 
of the more distinguished refugees, such as Joseph Bonaparte, 
brother of Napoleon and once king of Spain, and the Murats, 
nephews of Napoleon, came to this country and lived here for 
longer or shorter periods; but of the more obscure actors in the 
great European drama of a century ago hundreds no doubt came 
here to live permanently. Of such Wisconsin received a share, 
particularly in the German influx of the forties. 

Some of our older citizens still recall as children seeing stroll- 
ing, crippled veterans from the Old World who went from town 
to town making their living playing and singing war ballads and 
rehearsing their recollections of Napoleon and other great cap- 
tains under whom they had served ; while the records of the state 
prison at Waupun tell of the commitment there as late as 1878 of 
a prisoner who had been a soldier under Napoleon. From Water- 
loo to an American prison over sixty years later seems a far cry ; 
and the story of this prisoner as related by himself at the time is 
a romantic one — one that may be here rehearsed briefly to show 
the wealth of romantic material that may be lying unsuspected 
all about us, often in most humble places. 

His name was Zumbola Zowasky. He was born in Warsaw, 
Poland, July 4, 1791. He was evidently of some favored or 
influential family, for at the age of fifteen he was sent to the 
military school at Paris by Prince Poniatowski, Napoleon's 


Historical Fragment 

friend, who was later to lose his life for the Emperor at Leipsie. 
He was thus trained, as it were, under the eye of Napoleon him- 
self. When Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812 the young Pole 
accompanied him as a captain of artillery. After the Russian 
campaign he returned to Warsaw but in 1813 was again under the 
banner of the Emperor and fought with him to the end at Water- 
loo. In 1831 he joined Sobieski in the revolution against Russia. 
But the end was not yet for this soldier of fortune. When the 
Hungarian revolution of 1848 broke out he joined Kossuth to 
fight for the freedom of Hungary, but with Franz Sigel, later to 
become distinguished in the American Civil War, he was taken 
prisoner and sentenced to banishment for thirty years, coming 
to America in 1851. It seemed an irony of fate that nearly three 
decades later one who had braved so much for human freedom 
should himself, at a great age, be sent to a felon's cell. On 
March 8, 1878 he was convicted in the circuit court of Dodge 
County of burglary and sentenced to two years in the state 
prison at Waupun. He was then eighty-seven years of age and 
was living at the time in Juneau, Dodge County. He was re- 
leased on reduction of time November 29, 1879. His term of 
banishment had nearly run its course at this time and he declared 
his intention of returning to his native Poland to die. His 
subsequent fate is not known to the writer. Captain Zowasky 
said that two of his brothers had also been exiled to Siberia for 
participating in Polish revolutions. 

A local historian of a generation ago claims that three old 
Waterloo soldiers were among the pioneers of the Sauk City 
region, presumably of the town of Roxbury, Dane County, whose 
early history has many other romantic points of interest. In a 
series of historical articles written by J. M. Steele for the Lodi 
Valley News in 1898, the following references are made to them: 

In the Catholic cemetery at Roxbury are buried three men, soldiers 
in the wars of Napoleon Bonaparte. Their names were Numiere, Polly 
and Class. Numiere was under Blucher fighting against Napoleon; 
while Polly and Class fought under Napoleon on the plains of Waterloo 
against Wellington. Blucher coming at night effected the overthrow of 
Napoleon. Polly wore the star of the legion of honor on his breast as 
one of Napoleon's guards. The writer saw him while living at the age 
of 90. He stood six feet, straight as an arrow. 

Napoleonic Soldiers in Wisconsin 


Mrs. Staler, now dead, daughter of Mr. Class, with whom he lived 
in his later years, told the writer something concerning her father. 
Mr. Class went at the age of fifteen as a substitute for his brother, who 
had a family, and served until the downfall of Napoleon. Being at the 
home of his daughter I went to where her father was dressing the grape- 
vines. There stood the man who had shouted victory and suffered 
defeat on the blood-red fields of Spain; was one of the army that crossed 
the Niemen 500,000 strong to invade Russia; one of the number who 
stormed the Russian intrenchments at Borodino, fighting uncovered 
in the open plain, causing Napoleon to exclaim at St. Helena, "You 
immortal heroes!"; saw the burning of Moscow, the greatest con- 
flagration of modern times; lived and fought through that fearful 

In contrast to such stormy early years, these men were to spend 
the afternoon of their lives amid the peaceful valleys of Roxbury, 
Dane County, far removed from their former scenes of strife. 
Evidently Mr. Steele was ignorant of more than one language: 
the German names which he has phonetically reproduced should 
doubtless read Neumeier, Pauli, and Clas or Claus. Families 
of such names were among the large number of German immi- 
grants who settled in the vicinity of Sauk City. 

For some years the writer of this article has incidentally been 
seeking to obtain further information relative to these men. 
However, most of their surviving relatives who have been inter- 
viewed have known practically nothing concerning the military 
records of their ancestors; and their old neighbors who still 
survive know but little more. But while the immediate historical 
end may not thus have been readily attained, the quest has led 
to other interesting conclusions. To say that if Mr. Steele had 
not devoted these two paragraphs to these men, their military 
histories might soon be entirely forgotten may seem strange. 
Waterloo was such an important battle in the world's history that 
anyone who had relatives there might be expected to know that 
fact at least. However, such lack of knowledge is natural enough. 
Military service was the natural and regular part of the life of 
practically every able-bodied man in Europe, at least in the 
humbler walks of life, a century ago. It meant no particular 
distinction. Of course their grandfathers served in the army, say 
their present-day relatives. Every man did. With the com- 
paratively low standard of general intelligence thou prevailing 


Historical Fragments 

in continent "^l Europe, with only the most primitive means of 
communication, and without newspapers, what would the 
peasantry be apt to knowof the wars raging about them, beyond 
the fact that war existed? Least of all, what could they be 
expected to know of the complicated campaigns and policies of 
Napoleon and the powers opposing him? Theirs was not to 
reason why; theirs was but to do and die. War had come to be 
looked upon as something to be expected in everyone's lifetime. 
Coming nearer to our own time, how many Americans whose 
fathers served in the Civil War can give anything but the most 
meager outline of their war records? Very few indeed. Beyond 
the mere fact that their fathers served in the war they know 
little and could not begin to enumerate the campaigns and 
battles in which their ancestors participated. Very rarely are 
children interested enough to remember such things accurately; 
only with maturity and reflection is such knowledge fixed. 
How, then, could more be reasonably expected from the grand- 
children of men who came from service in Europe? Furthermore, 
these immigrants were not men who read or studied history or 
politics to any extent. They had come as pioneers to a new land 
where hardship, novelty, and opportunity for wealth would 
tend to the forward, not the backward look. Save for its lan- 
guage and customs, they had left the old home behind; whatever 
their children learned of it could be from hearsay only, the echo 
of a dim remembered tale. Their children also grew up in a 
transplanted foreign atmosphere, hearing practically the German 
tongue only, yet without the cultural advantages they would have 
enjoyed in the same atmosphere in the Old World. 

Often the significance of a campaign or battle is not revealed 
at once. Thus we read that Napoleon's defeat at Leipsic in 1813 
was not known in Copenhagen, a short distance away, until six 
weeks afterwards and was then revealed not as a crushing defeat, 
but as a masterful maneuver by Bonaparte in extricating^^his 
army from a trap set by the allies. Likewise the significance 
of Waterloo has grown with time and through the pens of Byron, 
Hugo,j^and other worthies has been invested with a glamor 
which at first it^id not possess. Of this only educated people 
would-be aware. 

Napoleonic Soldiers in Wisconsin 353 

Of the three men referred to by Steele, Pauli is the only one 
whose grave the writer has been able to identify in the Roxbury 
cemetery and concerning whom he has obtained any satisfactory 
information. Of the other two men only a legendary knowledge, 
so to speak, seems to exist now among their old neighbors; and 
as there were several Neumeier, Clas, and Claus families among 
the early settlers of the region, the writer has never felt satisfied 
that the meager information obtained concerned the veterans in 
question and not some other relatives. Except for a grandson 
of Pauli, the only person who could give what seemed a somewhat 
reliable interview was the Honorable Matt. Theisen of Sauk 
City, a member of the legislature of 1879 and now eighty-six 
years old, but wonderfully vigorous in mind and body for one of 
his years. He claimed to have known both Pauli and Clas very 
well and said that Clas had been on the Russian invasion in 1812. 
Further than that he could tell little of him. 

The tombstone which marks the resting place of Pauli is the 
second one above his grave and bears the following inscription: 

Peter Pauli 
Geb. 10 Juni, 1792 
Gest. 7, Sept., 1884 

Schlafe Wohl, 6 Vater, Schlafe 
Deiner Walfahrt Leiden aus 
Sanft Sei Dir Der Letzte Schlummer 
Dein Erwachen Ohne Kummer 

Pauli's grandsons, John and Peter Pauli, who formerly kept the 
Pauli House at Sauk City, said some years ago that their grand- 
father had not been on the Russian campaign, but that he served 
one year against Napoleon and three years under him. It will 
be recalled that at the height of his power Napoleon trampled 
ruthlessly on the German states and often compelled tliem to 
recruit his armies, so that German soldiers frequently fouglit in 
opposing armies. In time Pauli became one of Napoleon's guards 
and cherished to the last the star of the legion of honor so won. 
About 1848 he came with his family to America from Triore. 
Germany. After a short stay in Milwaukee he settled in Roxbury 
which was his home for the remainder of his life. Among llio 


Historical Fragments 

tales with which he used to thrill his grandchildren was one 
describing his experiences at Waterloo, where the comrade on 
each side of him was killed, and when he turned to help the 
artilleryman behind him he, too, was killed. One son of Pauli 
died in Roxbury; another is believed to have lost his life in the 
Galveston flood of some years ago; while a daughter, Mrs. 
Phillipi, was recently living at Alma, Wisconsin. 

If the other two soldiers referred to by Steele are buried in 
the Roxbury cemetery, their graves are not so conspicuously 
marked as Pauli's. As it was the practice a generation ago of 
placing iron or wooden crosses above family lots in this cemetery, 
it is possible that these veterans are buried under such memorials 
of which many still remain, but whose inscriptions have been 
obliterated by time and the elements. Their graves should now 
be sought out and made known. 

In the meantime it would be interesting to learn of any other 
soldiers in the Napoleonic wars who are buried in Wisconsin. 
Will not the readers of this magazine report any such instances 
of which they may learn? It is said that Sauk County has one 
or more. Doubtless the same is true of Milwaukee and other 
lake shore counties. 

Albert O. Barton 


Benjamin Hyde Edgerton was born in Saybrook near Norwich, 
Connecticut, April 17, 1811, the eldest son of Elisha and Diana 
Hyde Edgerton. Later the family removed to Taberg near 
Rome, New York, then considered very far west, where Elisha 
Edgerton purchased a farm and where the subject of this sketch 
remained until his twelfth year. He then removed to Buffalo 
and engaged in various pursuits, none entirely congenial until he 
took up the study of land surveying. 

It may be mentioned here in chronological order that he was 
closely related to the Fillmores of Buffalo — President Fillmore 
and he being first cousins; but there is no record that this connec- 
tion was any aid to him in his early struggle for an education and 
a career. 

Benjamin Hyde Edgerton 


In the early thirties he moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin, then 
a thriving village in the very far West, and was there employed on 
United States Government surveys, all the time studiously 
preparing himself for the profession of civil engineer. For this 
he became amply equipped and made it his life work until about 
the year 1870, when for a short period he engaged in the real 
estate and insurance business in Milwaukee. 

Having finished his work in Green Bay in 1835, Mr. Edgerton 
rolled his earthly possessions into a bundle, strapped it on the 
back of an Indian pony, and traveled southward through the 
wilderness, following Indian trails through woods, prairies, 
streams, and swamps, until he reached what was afterwards 
known as Kilbourntown, from the heights of which he had his 
first view of what is now the metropolis of Wisconsin. He 
beheld cornfields, wigwams, and the cabins of a few white settlers; 
among them, that of Solomon Juneau, which stood on the bank 
of the Milwaukee River, at the intersection of what is now 
East Water and Wisconsin Streets. For a time the cabin of 
Juneau was his home; and often in after years he told of his high 
living there, when Mrs. Juneau's acorn pies were the one great 
luxury. He resumed his profession of surveyor and engineer; 
as the population increased he platted what is now the older part 
of Milwaukee, named many of the streets, and for a long ])eriod 
took an active part in its civic and social life. 

In the early fifties the extension of railways into and tli rough 
the West enlarged Mr. Edgerton's field of activities, and he 
became a pioneer in Wisconsin's railway development. The 
first railroad to be constructed was the Milwaukee and Mississip])i 
River Railway, of which Mr. Edward H. Brodhead was the first 
chief engineer; Mr. Edgerton was assistant engineer until the 
completion of the road to Waukesha, which place remaintul for a 
short period the terminus of the road. Upon its extension to 
Madison and the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien Mr. 
Edgerton became chief engineer and removed from MilwaukiH» 
to Madison in 1853, where he purcliased a home on the slioro 
of Lake Mendota. After a residence of several years in the 
capital city, the railroad being completed to the Mississippi, be 


Historical Fragments 

removed to Milwaukee, where the general offices of the railway 
were located. 

It may be mentioned here that the town of Edgerton in 
Rock County was named after him. He also surveyed the 
Janes ville and Monroe branch of the railway, which leaves the 
main line at Milton Junction. Mr. Edgerton was afterwards 
engaged on other railway projects and surveys. He was engineer- 
in-chief of the Milwaukee and Northern Railroad surveying the 
line to Green Bay with a branch to Menasha, Neenah, and 
Appleton. It is a striking coincidence that Mr. Edgerton in 
after years was to make a pathway for the iron trail and locomo- 
tive to Green Bay across the same wilderness through which in 
the early thirties he had journeyed southward over the old 
Indian trails. He was also chief engineer of the McGregor 
Western Railway in Iowa, on which line he established the present 
thriving city of Cresco, and in partnership with Augustus Beadle 
was owner of the town site. He was also engineer-in-chief of the 
Kansas Southern Railroad; and the town of Edgerton on that line, 
in Johnson County, Kansas, was named after him. 

In connection with Daniel L. Wells (of Wells, French & Co.) 
and Alexander Graham of Whitewater, Wisconsin, Mr. Edgerton 
built part of what is now known as the Vandalia line, now a part 
of the great Pennsylvania system. He was also at one time 
paymaster and superintendent of what is now the Prairie du 
Chien division of the Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul system. 

Mr. Edgerton was essentially a man of domestic tendencies. 
Because his engineering occupation kept him so much from home, 
he finally withdrew from all such interests and established himself 
in one that permitted him to enjoy more of the privileges of home 
life. Among the pioneer residents of Milwaukee was Dr. Algernon 
Sidney Hosmer, for a time the popular host of the old "Milwaukee 
House." On June 7, 1838 one of his daughters, Sophia Hosmer, 
became the bride of Mr. Edgerton. 

For many years Mr. Edgerton was an active vestryman and 
Senior Warden of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. He was the 
architect of its edifice that for so many years occupied the north- 
east corner of Jefferson and Mason streets, where the Layton 

James Otto Lewis 


Art Gallery now stands. His eldest daughter having married and 
settled in Chicago, her family soon followed her. There Mr. 
Edgerton entered the great silence December 9, 1886, followed 
by his devoted wife on August 16, 1910. Both have their last 
sleep in beautiful Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee. The bell 
which tolls the arrival of its guests was his gift to old St. Paul's 
Church; and daily on the sanctified air of that loveliest of resting 
places it sends forth its mellow requiem notes for Benjamin Hyde 
Edgerton, his wife, and a daughter (Mrs. Gertrude Edgerton 
Faulkner), and for many pioneers of Wisconsin. Two sons and a 
daughter of Mr. Edgerton still live in Chicago, besides other 
descendants. The information contained in this biographical 
sketch has been compiled by them. 


Correspondence with John F. Lewis of Philadelphia has 
elicited additional material concerning the life of James Otto 
Lewis, the artist author of the famous Aboriginal Portfolio. 
This, with earlier information in the possession of the Society, 
enables us to give a brief sketch of his life. He was descended 
from a highly respected German family of the name of Ludewig, 
from Hall Suabia, members of which for several generations had 
held important offices in different towns of the province. His 
father, John Andreas Philip Ludewig, emigrated to Philadelphia 
in 1784 and Anglicized the name. James Otto Lewis was born 
in that city February 3, 1799. His mother was Anna Maria 
Clingman. He married Sophia Pelletier in Detroit, Michigan, 
and they had seven children — four daughters and three sons. 
His wife died in 1837, and later he married Mrs. Cynthia Moody 
in New York. Lewis died in New York in 1858. 

James Otto Lewis was a pioneer and a soldier. In early life 
he took part in the defense of Schuylkill against tlie Britisli in 
the War of 1812 and later was engaged in the Black Hnwk War. 
He was a friend of General Cass and accompanied hijn and other 
Indian commissioners as draughtsman for the Indian Dopartmont 
to the Treaty Grounds at Prairie du Chien in 1825, Fond (hi Lac. 
Green Bay, Mississinewa, and Fort Wayne in 1S27. Those 


Historical Fragments 

ceremonial occasions, when the great chiefs and warriors of 
various tribes were arrayed in their native costumes with all 
their trappings and decorations, gave him a fitting opportunity 
to paint them at their best. He attempted to portray their 
character and attitude as well as their costumes with strict 
fidelity, feeling it to be a great duty "to rescue from oblivion 
some relics of a race so interesting." The work was necessarily 
done with haste and under great disadvantage. While he is not 
regarded as a great artist, his work is the rarest and most precious 
because the earliest portrayal of the native Indian. 

He created what he aimed to make — "a truly national work 
combining not only the elements of a National Gallery of painting 
but materials for Biography and History." The original drawings 
were stored in the Smithsonian Institution and burned in the 
fire, but lithographic copies were produced in color and sold in 
installments. Of these very few are in existence. A set was 
recently sold at auction for $350. There were originally, as far as 
we are able to ascertain, seventy-four portraits and five plates. 
The Wisconsin State Historical Society is the owner of three of 
the large portfolios and two smaller volumes containing biog- 
raphies with portraits of some of the chiefs. None of these are 
complete, but one volume contains seventy-two portraits and 
plates, only seven being wanting to complete the set. 

Lewis attempted to publish a set in England but did not 
meet with success, and when the third edition was placed on the 
market in the United States in 1844 Catlin's work was also being 
published and the market was flooded with Indian portraits. 
Lewis did not gain the recognition for his work that he deserved 
and seems to have died a poor and disappointed man. 

ICa.te E. Levi 



During the three months' period ending January 10, 1921, there 
were fifty additions to the membership roll of the State Historical 
Society. Six of these enrolled as life members, as follows: J. Henry 
Bennett, Viroqua; Charles W. Dinger, Eau Claire; Mrs. Jessica H. Fuller, 
Madison; Mrs. James A. Mcintosh, New York City; Milo C. Richter, 
Milwaukee; Dutee A. Whelan, Mondovi. 

Forty-three persons became annual members of the Society: ^Irs. 
T. W. Baker, Waunakee; John Bauman, Eau Claire; Spencer D. Beebe, 
Sparta; Mrs. Giles F. Belknap, Waukesha; Albert M. Bowen, Brodhead; 
Myron P. Bowen, Milwaukee; W. A. Brooks, Menasha; Jannette Bur- 
lingham, Shullsburg; Rev. Guy Campbell, South Wayne; Charles B. 
Case, Prairie du Chien; Mrs. F. W. Chadbourne, Fond du Lac; Odin 
Christenson, Nelson ville; Albert N. Coombs, Waukesha; Henry A. 
Cooper, Racine; Edward M. Dousman, Madison; Frank W. Downs, 
Washburn; Frank S. Durham, Neenah; Walter C. English, Wyocena; 
Adolph F. Estberg, Waukesha; William A. Freehoff, Waukesha; John 
B. Imig, Waukesha; William G. Kaufmann, Sheboygan; Jay G. Laing, 
Waukesha; Carl Landsee, Milwaukee; Aimee Levin, Waukesha; Albert 
G. Love, Waukesha; A. W. MacLeod, Washburn; Frank Melcher, 
Madison; Willis H. Miner, Menasha; Oscar Morris, Milwaukee; Don E. 
Mowry, Madison; Laura M. Olsen, Eau Claire; Mrs. A. E. Proudfit, 
Madison; Lowell J. Ragatz, Madison; Frederick Reisweber, Milwaukee; 
Frances M. Roddis, Marshfield; Henry Rothschild, St. Paul, Minn.; 
Mowry Smith, Menasha; Lynn B. Stiles, Milwaukee; Thomas S. 
Thompson, Mount Horeb; Lucille Van Alstine, Milwaukee; Charles C. 
Willson, Rochester, Minn. ; Otto J. Zander, Brillion. 

The Richland Center High School enrolled as a Wisconsin school 

Otto H. Lacher, Detroit, Mich., changed from annual to life- 

Hon. P. V. Lawson of Menasha passed away in his sleep during 
the night of November 30-December 1, 1920, at the age of sixty-seven 
years. Mr. Lawson was born in Corning, New York, November 1, 
1853, and was brought to Wisconsin by his parents in 1854. He was 
graduated from the University of Wisconsin with the class of 1870 and 
practiced law in Menasha till 1888 when, on account of ill health, lie 
retired from the profession in which he had attained prominence and 
entered the manufacturing field where he soon gained distinction. 

Mr. Lawson was a devoted student of the history and antiquities 
of Wisconsin. He made himself an authority on Indian remains and 
gathered a fine collection of Indian relics. He was for many years a 
very active member of the State Historical Society, and at the annnal 
meeting in October, 1920, he was unanimously elected to the olliroof 
curator. As chairman of the Committee on Historic l>andniarks. Mr. 
Lawson performed a valuable service to Wisconsin history in causing 


Survey of Historical Activities 

historic sites to be properly marked. Among his services was a vigorous 
and effective campaign he made to save the prehistoric town of Aztalan 
from being obhterated. He also did much to make the people conscious 
of the heroic period of early Wisconsin history by marking the forts and 
battle-fields of the Indian wars. In these matters, as in his private 
business, Mr. Lawson was an enthusiast. He was always prepared to 
use his time, abilities, influence, and means to further the cause of 
Wisconsin history. In his death the Society loses one who, as curator, 
would undoubtedly have advanced its interests strongly. J. S. 

George B. Hopkins of New York City, a former resident of Wiscon- 
sin and a member of the State Historical Society, died suddenly at 
his home, December 13, 1920. After leaving the University of Wiscon- 
sin Mr. Hopkins engaged in railroad work, building several lines in the 
northern part of the state. He later located in Chicago and then in 
St. Louis, where he was connected with the Wabash railroad. On 
removing to New York he engaged in banking. He retired from active 
business several years ago. At the time of his death he was chairman of 
the Municipal Art Society and chairman of the Board of Directors of 
the Philharmonic Society of New York. 

Judge Arthur L. Sanborn of the United States District Court died 
at his Madison home October 18, 1920. Judge Sanborn came to Wis- 
consin from New York in early life. Graduating from the College of 
Law in 1880, he practiced law in partnership with S. U. Pinney and 
later with John C. Spooner. In 1905 he was appointed to the Federal 
bench by President Roosevelt. He was a member and for many years 
a curator of the State Historical Society. 

Dr. Charles H. Vilas of Madison, prominent in the civic and pro- 
fessional life of Wisconsin and the Northwest, died at the age of seventy- 
four, November 22, 1920. Dr. Vilas was brought to Madison as a child 
by his parents in 1851 and grew to manhood here. After graduating 
from the University he became a highly successful practitioner of 
Chicago, serving for twenty-five years as president of the Hahnemann 
Medical College. Upon withdrawing from active practice he traveled 
extensively, studying the social and sanitary conditions of the regions 
he visited. In recent years he gave generously of his wealth to numerous 
institutions of his home city. He was a life member of the State Histori- 
cal Society. 

Dr. Henry H. Abraham, a member of this Society, died suddenly 
at his home in Appleton in November, 1920, aged fifty-four years. 
Dr. Abraham was a native of Germany who came to Wisconsin in early 
childhood and by industry and ability rose to eminence in his com- 
munity and profession. At the time of his death he was a member of 
the State Board of Medical Examiners and president of the State 
Medical Association. 

The Society and the State 


Miss Julia A. Lapham, daughter of the noted scientist of early 
Wisconsin, Increase A. Lapham, died of heart disease at her Oconomo- 
woc home, January 2, 1921. Miss Lapham, like her father, was pos- 
sessed of marked scholarly tastes. She manifested a deep interest in 
movements for community betterment and was long active in women's 
clubs and similar movements to this end. She served as secretary of the 
Waukesha County Historical Society from its organization until her 
death, and it is a slight indication of her fidelity to its interests that her 
reports to the State Historical Society were always made with commend- 
able promptness and detail. Of the State Historical Society, in the 
founding of which her father bore a prominent part, she was a loyal > 
and interested member, a letter of hers giving her recollections of the 
Sioux massacre of 1862 being published in the last issue of this magazine. 
Her most notable single service to the Society was the gift to it a few 
years since of the extensive collection of her father's personal manu- 

The Thirty-second Division in the World War^ 1917-1919, a volume 
of 315 pages, has been issued jointly by the war history commissions of 
Michigan and Wisconsin. The volume is intended to be a nontechnical 
narrative of the Division's career, and it is announced that the official 
report of General Haan, commander of the Division, will be published 
later. The present volume is attractively printed and copiously illus- 
trated and should constitute a valued record to all the survivors of the 
Division and their relatives and friends. The narrative was prepared by 
members of the Division while still in service; it avoids all personalities 
and undertakes to tell in an impersonal way the story of the Division in 
an entity. Such a mode of presentation has its undoubted merits. It 
has, also, its corresponding defects; and the "fathers and mothers, wives, 
sisters, and sweethearts" of those who belonged to the Division will look 
in vain for any trace of the personal element whose recital commonly 
enlivens narratives of this character. Since the book was produced for 
the gratification of precisely this group of people the wisdom of the 
abstinence manifested by its compilers is perhaps open to question. 
However this may be, we wish to commend the members of the two 
commissions under whose auspices the book appears for their restraint, 
all too infrequent, unhappily, in official publications of this character, 
in keeping their own portraits and histories out of the volume whose 
pages are devoted, as they should be, wholly to the Thirty-second 

It was largely due to the vision and influence of Dr. Edward Kre- 
mers, director of the Pharmacy department of the University of Wis- 
consin, that the interesting bequests of Colonel and Mrs. A. H. HoUistcr, 
for the furthering of work in pharmaceutical history came to the Society 
some years ago. Dr. Kremers has been on leave of absence from the 
University during the first half of the current school year, i)ursiiin^ 
studies along the line of his dominant interest. The following Icltcr 
received by the Editor December 15, 1920 gives some account of his 
experiences to that time. 


Survey of Historical Activities 

"When I left Madison about the middle of October, I told you that 
I was going East on an historical pilgrimage, largely in search of local 
color in connection with two subjects on which I have been working 
recently in connection with the Hollister Pharmaceutical Library. One 
of these I have called *a drug list of King Philip's War.' It is based on 
a document of 1675 in the Archives of the State House in Boston, of 
which a photostatic copy was secured about a year ago. The other is 

the *Pharmacopoeia Nosocomii Militaris,' commonly 

called the Lititz Pharmacopoeia of 1778, of which a photostatic copy 
had been obtained from the Surgeon General's Library in Washington. 

*'For some years I have entertained the idea that some of the 
eastern archives must contain documents of interest to the pharmaceu- 
tical historian. So, while in search for local color, I also had my eyes 
open for new material. To tell you that I was not disappointed is to 
understate the result. To be more correct, I should say that I was soon 
overwhelmed with material and that I finally ran away because I had 
found more than I could ever hope to work up even if I had nothing 
else to do. 

"What is more, I found that everyone with whom I came into 
personal contact was more than willing to cooperate. Indeed, in several 
instances, I had to tear myself away. Archivists and others who knew 
of some of the wealth of the material of which I was in search told me 
that never before had a pharmacist made application. They were so 
greatly pleased to have one come along at last that they went out of 
their way to help me. 

"Tempting as were the kind offers to give me a desk, e. g., in the 
Oliver Wendell Holmes room of the Library of the Boston Medical 
Society on the Fenway, I longed for place in our own Library where I 
might work at one of the subjects in hand rather than find something 
new each day. However, it was a treat, and if I needed added stimulus 
to go ahead with our work I certainly got a sufficient dose." 


In the December issue of History Items was published the following 
under the above caption: 

"The State Historical Society wants to obtain and publish a census 
of those farms sixty years old or more, which in this year 1920 are still 
in the families of the men and women who created them out of pieces of 
wild land. It matters not from whom the title originally came, whether 
the United States government, the State government, or a private 
owner. The only condition is that the land must have been improved 
or made into a farm by the present owner or one of his or her ancestors. 

"Owners of such family homesteads are requested to send in the 
requisite information about them without delay. For convenience in 
filing the following form should be used : 

"1. Description of land [Example: NE/4 SE/4 Sec. 7, T. No. 8 

The Society and the State 


"2. Maker of the farm [Example: James W. Jones]. 

"3. Date at which ownership began [Example: 1842]. 

**4. Origin of title [Example: From U. S. Govt. Cert, of Purchase 
No. 5763; from State Cert, of Purchase No. 7321; from John 
Smith. Warranty deed, 1842]. 

"5. Date of his settlement on the land [Example: 1843]. 

**6. Proof of above statement as to date of settlement [Example: 
A letter written by the settler, or some member of his family; 
some instrument or transaction which is of record; statement 
by original owner later in life; testimony of aged neighbors 
knowing the facts]. 

"7. Name of present owner and relationship to original farmer 
[Example: Wesley G. Jones, grandson of James W.Jones]. 

"8. If possible give a brief sketch of the original farmer, a photo- 
graph of him, and any photographs of the farm, with approxi- 
mate dates. 

"9. Description of the present farm. 

"10. Date of report. 

"Kindly send information to State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 
Madison, Wisconsin." 

Our clipping service shows that the newspapers very generally 
reprinted the item, and the response has been remarkable. Letters 
began to come in the very day after the item was printed, and they 
have continued to come in a steady stream since. A goodly proportion 
of the older counties are represented in the reports on hand, and many 
of the individual farms reveal in the history of their settlement the 
circumstances under which the distinct sections of the state were 
pioneered. The accounts, usually written by descendants, of the pioneer 
farm makers themselves are often full of human interest. In short, 
these reports are bringing to our collection many valuable items in the 
history of the people of our state. 

The time before going to press with the March number of the 
magazine is too short to permit extended comment in this issue. But 
we present as an initial installment of the Census of Old Homesteads a 
report, written by Mrs. Ida L. Martin of Mukwonago, R. R. 2, on 
the farm begun by her father, Joseph Hosmer Stickney, in 1839: 

1. Description of land: NWJ^ Sec. 23, Town No. 5, Range No. 

19 E; SW K Sec. 14, Town No. 5, Range No. 19 E. 

2. Maker of the farm: Joseph Hosmer Stickney. 

3. Date at which ownership began: The land was filed or bought 

the second week in October, 1839, and the patent dated 
December 10, 1840. 

4. Origin of title: A patent from United Stales govcmniont, si^'ncd 

by Martin Van Buren, president of United Slates. 

5. Date of settlement on the land: Some time in the spring of 1839. 

when a log house was erected. 

6. Proof of above statement as to date of settlement, etc., etc.: A 

family record in my mother's handwriting which stales thnt 


Survey of Historical Activities 

Joseph Hosmer Stickney and Achsah Ellen Haseltine were 
married in Vernon Township, Wisconsin, January 1, 1840. 

7. Name of present owner and relationship to original farmer: 

Mrs. Ida L. Martin wife of Everett Martin and youngest 
child of original owner. 

8. A brief sketch of the original farmer, etc., etc.: Joseph Hosmer 

Stickney was born in Andover, Vermont, October 8, 1811 and 
came to Vernon Township, Wisconsin, by team in company 
with friends, arriving here August 18, 1838. His whole life 
from that time was spent on this farm, with the excep- 
tion of five years from the spring of 1847 until the spring 
of 1852, when this farm was rented and he lived at Leroy, 
Dodge County, Wisconsin. In 1859 he erected a com- 
modious stone farmhouse, which at that early date was 
better than farmhouses generally. In the early years 
of his life in Wisconsin, Indians were his neighbors, and 
the big grey timber wolf often howled in the woods which at 
that time surrounded the little home. Quite a large part of 
the farm was covered with the sugar maple and the wooden sap 
troughs lay against the foot of the trees where the Indian had 
left them at the close of the season, for the Indian, too, liked 
to gather the "sugar water" to boil down for the sweetening 
of his daily meals. Mr. Stickney never had trouble with the 
"red man" but many times the "red papooses" and the white 
man's children sat together by the fireplace and shelled the 
corn the Indian had bought for family use. 

The subject of this sketch rode on horseback to Chicago in 
October of 1839 to change the "wild cat" money he and his 
neighbors had for what they called "land office" money, so 
that they should be prepared to pay for their claims. 

Ten children were born to this pioneer and his faithful 
wife. One son died in infancy, but nine children grew to man- 
and womanhood on this farm. Mr. Stickney lived to be eighty- 
four, dying January 2, 1896. 

9. Description of present farm: I don't think I understand this 

question. If it means if the farm boundaries are just the same 
as when my father made claims in 1839, they are not, although 
the buildings are on the same section as in my father's time. 
My father had 640 acres, and my husband and I have now 400 
acres of that farm. 
10. Date of report: December 30, 1920. 

Joseph Schafeb. 

our contributors 

Colonel Arthur L. Conger ("The Military Education of Grant as 
General") of the general staff of the army has long been known for his 
studies m military history and tactics. Throughout the Great War he 
served as assistant chief of staff to General Pershing. His notable 
address on "President Lincoln as War Statesman," delivered before the 

Some Wisconsin Public Documents 


Society in 1916, is printed in the annual volume of Proceedings for that 

Deborah Beaumont Martin ("Doctor WiUiam Beaumont: His Life 
in Mackinac and Wisconsin, 1820-34") is librarian of the Kellogg Public 
Library of Green Bay. Miss Martin is the author of histories of Brown 
County and of Green Bay and a tireless student of Wisconsin history. 
She is the grandniece of Doctor WiUiam Beaumont and a daughter of 
Morgan L. Martin, who figured prominently in early Wisconsin history. 

W. A. Titus ("Historic Spots in Wisconsin: VI Meeme: A Frontier 
Settlement that Developed Strong Men") concludes in this issue his 
series of sketches in early Wisconsin history. 

Doctor William F. Whyte ("Chronicles of Early Watertown") is 
president of the State Board of Health and a curator of the State 
Historical Society. His last contribution to this magazine is entitled, 
"Observations of a Contract Surgeon," in the December, 1919 issue. 

Carl Russell Fish ("An Historical Museum") is professor of Ameri- 
can History in the University of Wisconsin and a curator of the State 
Historical Society. 


The Law School of the State University is to be congratulated on 
the issuance of its new quarterly, termed the Wisconsin Law Revieu\ 
the first number of which appeared in October, 1920. It is to be sent 
free to members of the bench and to the active members of the Wisconsin 
Bar Association. A small subscription price will bring the Review to 
those without the legal profession. The aim of the Journal is primarily 
to deal with questions of Wisconsin law and general legal matters of 
interest to the Wisconsin profession. The first number has for its 
leading article a sketch of the late Justice John B. Winslow by his 
successor, Justice Burr W. Jones, and Dean H. S. Richards of the I>aw 
School. The Dean also discusses "The Uniform Partnership Act." 
John D. Wickham presents a timely consideration of the "Statutes of 
Limitation in Wisconsin upon Actions for the Recovery of Land Sold 
for Taxes." The volume closes with "Notes on Recent Cases." 

At the apex of the wedge of progressive legislation for Wisconsin 
stands the State Conference of Social Work, formerly called the Con- 
ference of Charities and Corrections. The conference was held at 
Oshkosh in October last, the University Extension department co- 
operating. The conference has set a mark for the nation by cnga^nng a 
full-time trained executive secretary. Among those who contributed to 
the conference were Graham Taylor, Allen T. Burns, John A. (^Mnnions. 
John S. Donald, Martha Riley, Julia Lathrop, Dr. C. A. Harper, and 
Walter Davidson. The subjects discussed were grouped under the 
heads of Americanization; Industrial Relations; Rural Social Work; 
Public Health; Mental and Social Hygiene; and Bed Cross. The 
Proceedings of the same conference for 191!) contain valuable papers on 
Mothers' Pensions; Minimum Wage; the Menace of the Feeble Mintled; 
County Nurses, etc. 


Survey of Historical Activities 

The State Department of Agriculture in its Bulletin 31 A gives 
a survey of the activities and services of this branch of the state govern- 
ment. It is the more interesting since Wisconsin's policy of dividing 
the field between the Department and the University College of Agricul- 
ture has proved so logical and practical that it is being adopted by the 
United States Department of Agriculture and is being copied in whole 
or in part by several other states. The Wisconsin Department of 
Agriculture was formed by the legislatures of 1915 and 1917 consolidat- 
ing seven distinct boards dealing with agricultural interests. There 
are now nine divisions, each of which has a director. The aim is "service 
for the farmers and other citizens." Some of the typical activities are 
crop reporting, with forecasts and monthly reports, and special reports 
on commercial crops; field control of plant diseases; tuberculosis test 
of dairy cattle; hog cholera control; seed testing and weed destruction; 
markets; and state fair advisory. 

Bulletin 318 of the Agricultural Experiment Station deals scientifi- 
cally with Credit Needs of Settlers in Upper Wisconsin. It has been 
prepared by the university experts, Dr. Richard T. Ely, Dr. B. H. 
Hibbard, and Alonzo B. Cox. In the farm development of the cut-over 
region there are two processes — the pioneering and the improvement 
stage. Credit needs are more pressing in the first period; in the second 
they are larger but on a better basis. The pioneering activities of clearing, 
farm buildings, well, fencing, tools, machinery, and live stock need a 
capital of a thousand to fifteen hundred dollars for normal progress. In 
the farm development period at least double that amount should be 
available. The farmer and the farm should be a sufficient basis for 
needed credit. The settler with some money is served by the present 
agencies. No credit machinery is now provided for the less well-to-do 
settler. The object should not be to subsidize the farmer, but to make 
his security as mobile as that of the manufacturer or merchant. The 
federal farm loan bank has already issued $17,000,000 in upper Wiscon- 
sin. This releases local money for short-time personal loans. The 
settler should remember that the amount of credit he can command 
depends on his character, his honesty, his ability to spend money 

The Conservation and the Highway commissions are endeavoring 
to combine historical associations with pleasure trips. In their guides 
to the state parks and to places of interest historical values are em- 
phasized. The former commission issued in May the first anniversary 
number of the Conservationist. This birthday was featured by an 
exquisite color print of the passenger pigeon, an extinct bird, descriptions 
of which fill the accounts of pioneers and primitive travelers. The same 
number gives notice of the gift to the state of the new Pattison Park in 
Douglas County under the will of Senator Martin Pattison of Superior. 
This park comprises six hundred and sixty acres on the watershed 
between Lake Superior and the upper Mississippi and contains the 
highest waterfall in the state. It is thought to have been the site of an 

Some Wisconsin Public Documents 


early fur trade post. The Conservation Commission likewise issues 
a pamphlet entitled See Wisconsin First, in which are outlined three 
auto routes named, respectively, the "Flambeau Route," the "Bad Axe 
Trail," and the "Kickapoo Valley Tour." On these routes the historical 
associations are mentioned. The Highway Commission accompanies 
its Official Map of the State Trunk Highway System of Wisconsin with a 
"Brief History of Wisconsin'* and an "Index to Historical Points." 
The latter comprises twenty-nine historical points indicated on the map 
by green circles. Some of the statements are made more authoritively 
than historical criticism admits — such as the exact landfall of Nicolet, 
the site of Father Menard's death, and the dates of the explorations of 
Radisson and Groseilliers. JoUiet's name is spelled with one "1"; 
Fort "St. Nichols" should be "St. Nicolas"; Fort Shelby was not built 
at Prairie du Chien in 1813 but in 1814; the several sites of Fort Craw- 
ford are not indicated; and the second territorial assembly met at 
Madison in 1838, not in 1836. In the "Brief History," there is an 
hiatus of some sort concerning the War of 1812. These slight inaccura- 
cies should be corrected in the next edition of the guide. 

In the June number of the magazine the appeal of the State Board 
of Education was noticed. The board issued a pamphlet (March to 
May, 1920) on "Educational Programs as outlined by Educators, 
Labor, Business Men, and Farmers." The chief need, according to the 
opinion of the board, is for an educational policy, instead of the present- 
day opportunism. The board, as a help in the formulation of a policy, 
has collected citations from such available programs as are announced, 
especially by the voice of Labor which everywhere is demanding a demo- 
cratic educational system. One striking fact in the examination of the 
several programs is the comparative lack of emphasis on higher educa- 
tion. The institutions offering this form are suflSciently articulate; the 
new programs consider that "it is better to elevate the mass ever so little 
than to raise a few ever so high." There follows the program of the 
State Federation of Labor recommending a mimimum wage for teachers 
of one hundred dollars a month; the compulsory attendance age to be 
placed at sixteen; part-time compulsory attendance to be raised to 
eighteen with twelve required hours per week; appropriations for aiding 
deserving students to secure a higher education; the adult special age 
at the university to be lowered to eighteen; increase of mothers' pensions; 
labor representation on school boards; no military training in the lower 
schools. Business men's programs are few; nor have the farmers yet 
formulated an educational program of note unless the resolutions of the 
Society of Equity on rural schools and compulsory attendance may so 
be called. The pamphlet is intended to stimulate public opinion con- 
cerning the burning questions of democratic educational policy. 

With a similar purpose the Extension Division of the I nivorsity 
has issued a careful monograph by Mrs. Edith K. Iloyt on Pnrrnt- 
Teachers Associations. These associations are jM^rforniing a conununity 
service and building up tolerance and co-operation among the various 


Survey of Historical Activities 

elements of the community. By their unselfish purpose to serve future 
citizens they create a vehicle by which the community can come into 
constructive relationship with the school in practical ways. The 
association should not be a critical but a sympathetic organization; 
it is not intended to pass upon the teachers' qualifications nor methods, 
but to furnish a means of information whereby the parents may better 
understand the aims of the teacher and the purpose of the school 
system. It is a democratic organization, not an exclusive club; the 
only barrier is childlessness. The little book furnishes practical instruc- 
tions for the formation of an association, for subjects to discuss, and 
for types of recreation. These associations are one of the many means 
by which Americanization is being promoted and strengthened. 


From a photograph taken in May, 1861. General Charles King characterizes this as "the 

picture we ever had of Father." 





tendent, MILO M. QUAIFE, Editor 


RuFUs King: Soldier, Editor, and Statesman. . . . 

General Charles King 371 

The Kensington Rune Stone . Zai^renc^ M, Larson 382 

The Evangelical Association on Lomira Circuit 

John S. Roeseler 392 

The First Missionary in Wisconsin 

Louise P. Kellogg 417 

Two Graves in a Rural Wisconsin Cemetery .... 

W.A.Titus 426 


Letters of a Badger Boy in Blue: The Vicksburg 

Campaign 431 

Communications : 

More Napoleonic Soldiers in Wisconsin; Those 

Original Parchment Title Deeds 457 

Survey of Historical Activities : 

The Society and the State; The Wider Field 460 


General Charles King 

My first direct American ancestor in the paternal line 
was Richard King, who came from Kent, England, to Amer- 
ica in 1710. The King genealogy for the first half -century 
or so thereafter is somewhat obscure; but Richard King of ^ 
Scarboro, Maine, a son of the original immigrant, stands 
out as a prosperous shipbuilder and lumber dealer, who had 
served as captain and commissary at the siege of Louisburg 
in King George's War. His son, Rufus King, the first, 
served as senator from the state of New York for upwards 
of twenty years. He also served as minister to England in 
the administration of George Washington, and again for a 
short time twenty years later. The second son of Rufus, 
Charles King, was long the editor of the New York American 
and later for many years the president of Columbia College. 

My father, Rufus King, eldest son of Charles King, was 
born at Number 3 Pearl Street, New York City, January 
26, 1814. He grew up in New York City and received his 
earlier education there. When only fifteen years of age he 
entered West Point and was graduated at the age of nine- 
teen, being probably the youngest graduate who has ever 
gone out of that institution. He was commissioned brevet 
Second Lieutenant of Engineers and assigned to duty as 
assistant to Captain Robert E. Lee, United States Engineers, 
in the construction of Fortress Monroe. Later he was or- 
dered to duty on the improvement of the navigation of tlie 
upper Hudson, with headquarters at Albany. From liis 
association with Captain Lee he conceived an affection and 
respect for that officer which the stress of Civil War did not 
destroy. In the winter of 1861-G2, when my father was 
in command of a brigade in the Union army, he was sta- 
tioned at Arlington, the estate of General Lee, opposite 


General Charles King 

Washington. My mother, who joined him there, took 
it upon herself to sort out the more valuable items of 
clothing and other personal property belonging to the Lees 
and have them boxed and labeled with a view to restoring 
them to their owner at the close of the War. Whether this 
was ever done, or not, I never knew. In 1863, about the 
time of Lee's invasion of Maryland, Father's command 
captured his son, W. H. F. Lee, near Yorktown. General 
King succeeded in sending word to Richmond that the son 
was in safe hands; I was afterward told that shortly after 
General Lee got back from Pennsylvania messages were ex- 
changed between him and my father on the subject. Father 
had a high opinion of General Lee, regarding him as the peer 
of any man in either army, whether from the viewpoint of a 
soldier or a gentleman, but deplored his taking up arms 
against the union of states. 

In 1836, being still but a brevet second lieutenant and 
believing that the army in peace time offered a very poor 
opportunity for a "career," Father resigned his commission 
and accepted an appointment as assistant engineer in the 
survey of the New York and Erie Railway. He ran the 
survey of a great part of the Susquehanna Division of the 
line, and later as far west as Olean, New York. By this time 
the road was in financial straits; building was discontinued, 
and in 1838 Rufus King went back to Albany, there to begin 
life anew. 

There he entered the office of the Albany Evening Journal, 
of which Thurlow Weed was editor and proprietor, in the 
capacity of associate editor. Besides attending to his news- 
paper work he took up the study of law. In 1839 William 
H. Seward, a personal and political friend of Weed, became 
governor of New York. He appointed my father adjutant 
general of the state, which position he held during the four 
years of Seward's administration as governor, learning 
journalism, meantime, under the able tutelage of Weed. 

Rufus King: Soldier, Editor, and Statesman 373 

Some years before this, in 1836, Father had married Ellen 
Eliot, who was a direct descendant of John Eliot, the noted 
Apostle to the Indians. She died within a year, and in 
1843 he married Susan Eliot, a younger sister of his first 
wife. While engaged in engineer work in the army he had 
been sent west to make a temporary survey of the boundary 
line between the states of Michigan and Ohio and Indiana. 
This was his first glimpse of the West and he was much im- - 
pressed with the commercial and other possibilities of the 
country adjoining Lake Michigan. An acquaintance in the 
engineer service interested him in Milwaukee and in 1845 
he was induced to remove thither to become editor and part 
owner of the Milwaukee Sentinel and Gazette, It was in 
September, 1845 that he arrived at Milwaukee from Buffalo 
on the old steamer Empire State, For a time he made his 
home with his wife and infant boy at the old United States 
Hotel, which stood on the corner of Huron and East Water 
Streets. He then removed to a little house on Jefferson 
Street, nearly opposite the site of the present Layton Art 
Gallery, where his second child, Fanny, was born, October 
11, 1846. 

In 1847, 1 think. Father moved into a little frame house 
at the northeast corner of Mason and Van Buren Streets, 
owned by Alanson Sweet, who occupied the next house to 
the east, and there, at "King's Corner," as it came to be 
known, he lived until the spring of 1861, when he left Mil- 
waukee, as he supposed, to take passage for Italy as United 
States minister resident at the court of the Papal States. 
During all these years he had remained editor-in-chief, and 
during most of them proprietor, of the Milwaukee SentincL 

In 1848 he served in the second constitutional convention 
and there bore an important part in framing the constitution 
of the state. Although he was a Whig, and Wisconsin was 
then over-whelmingly Democratic, it is a matter of family 
tradition that he could have gone to Washington as one of 


General Charles King 

the new state's first senators had he so desired. But he felt 
that the building up of the Sentinel required his personal 
attention, and he declined the opportunity thus opened to 

Although a graduate of West Point, my father took no 
part in the Mexican War. Like General Grant, who had to 
take part in it because he was still in the army, Rufus King 
thoroughly disapproved of that war, although as a soldier 
he took great pride in the record made by the little army of 
regulars under General Scott and General Taylor. 

Father took great interest in the public schools of Mil- 
waukee. He was the city's first superintendent of schools, 
and served for many years without salary or emolument, 
examining the teachers, prescribing the course of study, and 
doing most of the printing required for the schools at his 
office and at his own expense. In the financial panic of 1857 
the Sentinel was wrecked, and Rufus King was forced to dis- 
pose of the property to Jermain and Brightman, who, realiz- 
ing its value, came from New York to buy it. King accepted 
the editorship under the new management, along with an 
interest in the business. Being impoverished, however, his 
friends provided in the winter of 1858-59 a salary of $2,000 
for the office of superintendent of schools. This was the first 
time my father ever received a cent for his services to the 
school system, but this income did not last long. For years 
even the Democratic papers had been in the habit of making 
reference to King as "the highly efficient superintendent of 
schools"; but no sooner was a salary attached to the office 
than his Democratic friends concluded that he had labored 
too long in this capacity, and at the next election a very 
worthy and efficient Democrat was chosen to succeed him. 

Rufus King was a member of the first Board of Regents 
of the University of Wisconsin, serving in this capacity until 
1854. He interested himself enthusiastically in all that per- 
tained to the development of the city of Milwaukee. He 

Rufus King: Soldier, Editor, and Statesman 375 

joined the fire department and was for long years the fore- 
man of Engine Company Number 1. He was major general 
of state militia and captain of the first American company of 
militia in the city. He practically organized the Milwaukee 
Boat Club in 1856, with a membership composed of the 
leading professional and business men of the city. Alexander 
Mitchell, Jerome Brigham, the Ogden brothers, David and 
Tom, Charles F. Ilsley, Norman J. Emmons, Dr. John K. > 
Bartlett, and a score of other men prominent in Milwaukee 
society were for several years active in the Boat Club. King 
took great interest in the organization of the Musical Society, 
and the great influx of Germans, many of whom were 
charming and cultivated people, made this society one of 
Milwaukee's greatest successes in the early days of the city. 

Very many men who later became prominent in Milwau- 
kee and Wisconsin politics came to Milwaukee with letters 
of introduction to Rufus King. I distinctly remember Carl 
Schurz as one of these. In politics King was a pronounced 
Whig, having been educated under William H. Seward and 
Thurlow Weed of New York, and the Sentinel was for long 
years an exponent of Whig policies and doctrines ; but it was 
the first paper of any prominence in the state to support the 
Republican platform and to become an earnest advocate of 
the candidacy of Fremont and Dayton for presidency and 
vice presidency in 1856. As the campaign of 1860 ap- 
proached, it was but natural that King and the Sentinel 
should be earnest supporters of WilHam H. Seward for the 
presidency; but the verdict of the party at the Chicago con- 
vention was all sufficient, and King, although personally 
disappointed by reason of his friendship and affection for 
Seward, employed all his influence in Wisconsin, both per- 
sonally and editorially, to procure the election of Abraham 

Having lost the superintendency of schools with its 
newly-established salary, in the spring of 1861 Rufus King 


General Charles King 

went to Washington, armed with letters from prominent 
Milwaukee men, to apply for the office of postmaster at 
Milwaukee. On laying his case before Secretary Blair he 
was told the office had been given to another, and that King 
himself had signed the petition for his appointment! This 
had been done the year before, and Father had forgotten 
about it. Shortly thereafter, while breakfasting at Willard's 
Hotel, still somewhat depressed over his failure to gain the 
appointment, a friend came over from an adjoining table and 
holding out his hand said, ''General King, I congratulate 
you with all my heart." This was Father's first intimation 
that President Lincoln had appointed him to the most de- 
lightful post in the diplomatic service of the United States, 
that of Minister Resident to the Papal States. The appoint- 
ment was due to the influence of his old friend Seward. 
Father had dined with him and been warmly welcomed, but 
he neither sought nor expected any appointment from the 
Secretary of State. There existed a deep affection between 
the two men, and Seward withheld all news of the appoint- 
ment in order that, when made, it might come as a surprise 
to his friend. 

Rufus King returned to Milwaukee, resigned his editor- 
ship of the Sentinel, attended a farewell banquet tendered 
him by his friends at the Newhall House, boxed up his house- 
hold goods, and set forth upon his new mission. He had 
proceeded as far as New York and his baggage was aboard 
the steamer when the news came of the firing on Fort Sum- 
ter. A trained soldier, King realized that his country had 
more urgent need of his services at home than in the Papal 
States. He took the first train for Washington and begged 
President Lincoln that he might be commissioned in the 
volunteer army that must be raised for the defense of the 
Union, suggesting that Governor Randall of Wisconsin be 
sent to Rome in his stead. It was done. Rufus King's name 
was in the first list of general officers of volunteers appointed 

Rufus King: Soldier, Editor, and Statesman 377 

by President Lincoln in May, 1861, and he returned to Mil- 
waukee to assist in the organization of the first Wisconsin 
regiments. Here the governor and legislature appointed 
him brigadier general of Wisconsin volunteers, in the hope 
that President Lincoln would be induced thereby to form 
the first few regiments of Wisconsin men into one brigade 
with King as its commander. 

In August, 1861, King was at Kalorama Heights, on the > 
northern outskirts of Washington, organizing his brigade. 
He had with him at this time the Second, Fifth, and Sixth 
Wisconsin Infantry, the Nineteenth Indiana, and, tempo- 
rarily, four or five regiments from other states, which were 
subsequently transferred. This was the beginning of the 
organization which subsequently became famous as the Iron 
Brigade. During the period of its organization, on many a 
pleasant evening President Lincoln appeared at General 
King's camp, accompanied by Secretary Seward and the 
relations between the brigade commander and the President 
and his Secretary of State were most cordial. 

The relations were suddenly interrupted, however, in 
September. At midnight an order came to General King 
to move his brigade to and across Chain Bridge and support 
the brigade of a junior officer, William F. Smith of Vermont. 
General McClellan, who had been graduated at West Point 
several years after General King, had been called to ^^ ash- 
ington and placed in supreme command. He was sur- 
rounded by a group of young and eager officers of the regu- 
lar service, and it is possible that, as he only once visited 
General King's big command and scarcely knew liim, he 
thought King too intimate with the Commander-in-Chief. 
At all events we crossed Chain Bridge in the darkness of 
night (I was attached to the brigade in tlie capacity of 
mounted orderly) and General King, altlioiigli eni])(>\vered 
by the army regulations to assume command of the troops 
in the field over a junior officer, nevertheless in all courtesy 


General Charles King 

reported to General Smith, and I well remember the words: 
* 'General Smith, I have brought my entire brigade with me, 
and am here to support you in any way that you may desig- 
nate." Boy that I was, I could not but notice General 
Smith's embarrassment. Yet what he requested of my 
father was that he should leave on the south side of the Po- 
tomac three-fourths of his brigade and himself with one 
regiment retire to the north side, leaving General Smith to 
carry out the orders of General McClellan. In all subordina- 
tion General King accepted the arrangement, believing that 
it would presently be corrected, and before long it was. 
King's brigade was ordered to take station at Arlington, 
the estate of his old friend and superior. General Lee. There 
the brigade had the best possible station, and General King 
every opportunity under his new division commander, Irvin 
McDowell, to train and instruct his brigade. Thus it came 
about that before March, 1862 the brigade was in a high 
state of soldierly efficiency and General King was almost 
disappointed when promoted to the command of the division, 
being reluctant to give over the immediate command of the 
brigade he had organized and developed. 

In April, 1862 the division made its swift march on Fred- 
ricksburg. A short time thereafter Fremont, becoming dis- 
satisfied with his command of the mountain department of 
Virginia, and smarting under the criticism of the Secretary 
of War, asked to be relieved, and a presidential order was 
issued assigning Rufus King to the command of this impor- 
tant department and the large force there engaged. That 
night the officers of the division came to King and begged 
that he would not leave them just at the outset of a critical 
campaign (for McClellan had been beaten back from the 
Peninsula). King therefore begged leave to decline the pro- 
motion in order that he might remain in command of his 
division in the fighting that was impending in the immediate 
vicinity of Washington. He ventured to suggest that it 

Rufus King: Soldier, Editor, and Statesman 379 

might strengthen the Union cause and at the same time give 
joy to thousands of German soldiers if Fremont's command 
were given to Franz Sigel, and this was done. 

On the twenty-eighth of August, 1862, after many weari- 
some marches to and fro under confusing orders from higher 
authority. King's division moving on Centerville along the 
Warrenton Turnpike just about sunset was fiercely attacked 
by Stonewall Jackson on its left flank. It was a complete, 
surprise to King, whose orders gave him to suppose that 
Jackson was at or beyond Centerville, much farther to the 
east. Five brigades of Jackson's infantry and four batteries 
of field artillery concentrated their fire on King's old brigade 
in an hour's fierce fighting before dark. From this time it 
became known as the Iron Brigade, for although one-third of 
its number were shot down in their tracks the brigade never 
yielded an inch. At one o'clock in the morning following this 
severe action, having received information that Stonewall 
Jackson with his entire command was in the immediate 
vicinity. King, after holding a council with the brigade 
commanders, ordered the division to retire to the southeast 
toward Manassas Junction, where he was sure of finding 
support. The next day, August 29, late in the afternoon, 
General Lee, with the remainder of the Confederate army, 
effected a junction with Jackson near the field from which 
King had retired. Months afterwards General Pope claimed 
that he had sent positive orders to General King the evening 
of the twenty-eighth to hold his ground and he would sup- 
port him, in spite of which King abandoned his position, 
thus inferentially making King responsible for the junction 
of Lee and Jackson on the twenty-ninth and the disastrous 
second battle of Manassas, which followed. Had King re- 
mained he would have been engulfed in the morning; but 
he never received such orders, nor was there ever found any 
oflScer who could remember having received any such order 
from General Pope to General King. Such an order was 


General Charles King 

sent by Pope to General McDowell, who was lost in the 
woods somewhere in the vicinity of the stream of Bull Run, 
far in the rear of the battlefield of King's division. I have 
in my possession General Pope's original letter to General 
King in which he says: "I am perfectly satisfied you did 
the very best you could under the circumstances," adding 
further that the ofiicer by whom he supposed he sent that 
order was not known to him by name, nor did he know the 
officer was on King's staff It was easily proved that King 
received no such order. But Pope's official report was not 
made public until the spring of 1863, and then the impression 
became disseminated that General King, by disobedience of 
orders, was responsible for the junction of Lee and Jackson. 
For long years he had to bear the stigma, and it ruined his 
health and broke his heart. He should have called for a 
court of inquiry and had the matter threshed out; but he 
showed Pope's full and complete reply to his letter, complete- 
ly exonerating him, to Seward and to Lincoln and to Stan- 
ton, and they all expressed themselves as satisfied with it 
and advised King that he should feel so too. There were 
political reasons in favor of not dragging the matter to light, 
since it must inevitably discredit Pope, and General King 
was one of those men who, conscious of his own rectitude, 
submitted to adversity in silence. 

In the fall of 1863 Governor Randall desired to return 
home, and Secretary Seward induced my father, whose health 
was now impaired, to resign his commission in order to take 
up the duties at the Papal Court which he had thrust aside 
in 1861. Here for four years he had a delightful association 
with Pope Pius the Ninth and his secretary of state. Cardinal 
Antonelli. While here it became his duty to receive and 
entertain General McClellan, and to present him to the 
Pope. While here, also, he was instrumental in the capture 

^This entire episode with Pope's letter in full is discussed in my pamphlet, GaineS' 
ville (Milwaukee, 1903). 

Rufus King: Soldier, Editor, and Statesman 381 

of John H. Surratt, who was impHcated in the conspiracy 
which resulted in the assassination of President Lincoln and 
the attempted assassination of Secretary Seward. Surratt 
was sent back to the United States long after his fellow con- 
spirators had been hanged, and in his case the jury dis- 

In 1867, the temporal power of the Papacy having been 
abolished, the mission to Rome was abolished by Con- 
gress, and Rufus King returned to America, paying a brief 
visit to Milwaukee in the fall of that year. Later he was 
made deputy collector of the port of New York and took up 
his residence in that city. Increasing ill health, however, 
compelled him to lead the life of an invalid from 1870 until 
his death, October 13, 1876. He is buried with his father 
and grandfather in the old churchyard of Grace Church, 
Jamaica, Long Island. 


Laurence M. Larson 

The literature on the subject of the Kensington Rune 
Stone has already grown to fairly respectable proportions; 
and it seems almost a waste of effort to continue a discussion 
that perhaps should have closed ten years ago. But in two 
recent issues of the Wisconsin Magazine of History (Decem- 
ber, 1919, and March, 1920) Mr. H. R. Holand returns to 
the subject and develops an argument for the genuineness 
of the inscription which is so remarkable in its use of histori- 
cal materials that it should not be allowed to pass without 

Reduced to the form of an outline, Mr. Holand's argu- 
ment runs about as follows. In 1342 Ivar Bardsen, who had 
come from Norway to Greenland the year before, was sent 
with an expedition to assist the colonists in the Western 
Settlement in their conflict with the Eskimos. Ivar and his 
men found the settlement deserted, the inhabitants having 
emigrated to America. This emigration resulted in the re- 
newal of trade relations between the Greenland colony and 
the American mainland. Five years subsequent to this mi- 
gration a vessel that was returning from Markland (Labra- 
dor?) was driven by storms to an Icelandic port. The 
following year this same ship sailed on to Norway 
where its arrival created a real sensation. The Norwegian 
king now made the Greenland trade a royal monopoly and 
developed a new line of colonial policy. He was not able to 
realize his new plans immediately because of the Black 
Death; but seven years later (1355) he sent Paul Knutson 
to Greenland to help the colonists maintain the Christian 
faith. However, the king's chief concern was not for the 
Christians of the Eastern Settlement, but for those who had 
abandoned the faith and emigrated to America. Paul Knut- 
son, who remained abroad for eight or nine years, must have 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


spent part of the time in Vinland. From the Vinland settle- 
ment he sent an expedition northward along the coast, 
which after a time reached the western shore of Hudson Bay. 
Leaving ten men to guard the ship, the other members of 
the party rowed up the Nelson River and after several weeks 
of wandering reached a point in northwestern Minnesota 
where ten of their number were slain by the Indians. The 
survivors traveled some eighty miles farther south, recorded 
their troubles on a rune stone, and were lost to history. 

Here we have a series of a dozen or more important facts 
(at least they are presented as facts) stretching in a long 
chain from Bergen, Norway, to Kensington, Minnesota. 

The materials used in Mr. Holand's articles are of three 
kinds: (1) reliable data culled from old Norwegian and Old 
Icelandic sources, which carry his narrative from Bergen to 
Greenland; (2) a series of conjectures and inferences which 
continue the narrative from Greenland to Minnesota; (3) 
details from the Kensington Rune Stone. 

It is quite correct that Ivar Bardsen visited the Western 
Settlement and found it deserted. But neither he nor any 
other writer for several hundred years appears to have known 
that the settlers had emigrated to America. The Icelandic 
churchman who wrote annals '*from memory" in the seven- 
teenth century states that they abandoned the true faith 
and ad Americae populos se converterunt. It is clear that the 
word Americae could not have appeared in the original 
source; that is the bishop's own contribution. But more 
important is the fact that the bishop does not state that the 
settlers emigrated; what he evidently intended to say is that 
they adopted the mode of living of the American people, or, 
more correctly, of the Eskimos. 

It may be regarded as certain that the Grcenlandcrs oc- 
casionally visited the forests of Labrador. Two of the older 
Icelandic annals report the arrival of a shij) from MarklautI 
in 1347. On that point Mr. lioland is on soHd ground. Un- 


Laurence M, Larson 

fortunately he cites no authority for the statement that this 
same ship sailed on to Norway the following year. His re- 
mark that Jon Guttormson was a passenger on this journey 
leads to the conclusion that his source of information may 
be an entry in the Gottskalk Annals for the year 1348: 
"departure of Jon Guttormson and the Greenlanders." It 
is to be noted, however, that this does not state that Jon 
sailed in a Greenland ship but that he traveled with Green- 

Even if the ship that carried Jon and his fellow travelers 
had actually come from Greenland, the chances are that it 
was not the craft that came from Markland. TheSkalholt 
annalist describes this as a very small ship, "smaller in size 
than small Iceland boats." Furthermore, it was evidently 
on its way back to Greenland when it was driven to port in 
Iceland. Ships were plentiful in Iceland in 1348: the Flat- 
isle Annals note the fact that thirteen Norwegian ships had 
arrived the year before and that twenty-one spent the winter 
in Icelandic harbors. 

The emigration of the Greenlanders in 1342 and the ar- 
rival in Bergen of the adventurers from Markland in 1348 
are necessary links in Mr. Holand's argument. These events, 
he believes, led to an important change in the colonial policy 
of the Norwegian king. But in the present state of the 
evidence we shall have to regard both events as probably 
mythical. In addition Mr. Holand has built up a third 
myth around the person of a Norwegian official, Paul Knut- 

Paul Knutson was sent to Greenland in 1355, as the 
author correctly states. So far as we know the object of his 
journey was Greenland alone; no other country is mentioned 
in the letter of his appointment. But Mr. Holand believes 
it "inconceivable that such a man of affairs should linger 
year after year in the dreary little colony of Greenland." 
We do not know whether Paul Knutson lingered or not, as 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


we do not have the date of his return; but, if he did, it may 
have been because he found it difficult to get back to Nor- 
way. Greenland has no iron and no native timber that can 
be used in ship building; consequently seaworthy ships were 
few in the settlement. Moreover, after 1348, when the 
Greenland trade became a royal monopoly, independent 
sailing between Greenland and Norway must have ceased. 
A royal merchant ship was due to sail each year to the 
colony; but the Greenland shore is difficult to approach; 
wrecks were frequent in Baffin Bay; and sometimes years 
would pass without a visit from the other world. 

We need not stress this point, however, as there surely 
was work to do in Greenland in the troubled years following 
the destruction of the lesser settlement in 1342. Paul Knut- 
son was sent to the Arctic to assist in maintaining the 
faith — in other words, to fight the Eskimos. Very little is 
known of conditions in Greenland during the second half of 
the fourteenth century, but such information as we do have 
indicates that the heathen neighbors had become quite 

It is scarcely necessary to discuss the hypothetical ex- 
pedition into Hudson Bay and up the Nelson River, as Mr, 
Holand frankly admits that for this part of his argument he 
has no documentary evidence. But in his second article 
(March, 1920) he comes forward with the claim that he has 
discovered the two skerries referred to in the Kensington 
inscription. 1 If this claim is substantial, the fact is one of 
real importance. 

The identification of the skerries rests on the supposition 
that a day's journey in Old Norse times was api)roxiniatcly 
eighty miles. Professor Hovgaard has shown quite conclu- 

^This argument, however, would he more convincing if skerries were less plentiful in 
western Minnesota landscapes. In 1909, when he was inlerprcling "day's j«Mirnev " k% 
twenty-five miles, Mr. Iloland found two points of land in IVIican Lake and wrote of 
them: "Here clearly enough were the two skerries mentioned in the ruuestone. and here 
under our feet lay the point on which these first white discoverers in the west lost their 
lives." Skandinaven (Chicago), Nov. 29, 1909. J. S. 


Laurence M, Larson 

sively that this estimate is correct in navigation ; but the 
writer knows of no one earlier than Mr. Holand who has 
argued that the same term with the same meaning was used 
for measuring distances on land. Eighty miles is a long day's 
journey in western Minnesota. Therefore, unless it can be 
shown that the medieval Norsemen actually estimated 
distances on land in this way, we shall have to doubt the 
identification of the skerries. 

The larger question, whether the Kensington inscription 
is a genuine document or a clever forgery, the writer does 
not regard himself qualified to discuss. In 1910 the Illinois 
Historical Society published a report on this problem pre- 
pared by Professor G. T. Flom, which, so far as the writer is 
informed, still remains the most complete discussion of the 
question on the linguistic side. Professor Flom's conclusion 
was that the inscription is of recent date. Until some com- 
petent scholar, one who knows runes and Northern dialects, 
shall decide otherwise, this conclusion is likely to stand. ^ 

It may be said in passing, however, that some of the ob- 
jections urged against the authenticity of the inscription are 
of doubtful strength. In the June issue of the Wisconsin 
Magazine of History Mr. R. B. Anderson condemns the docu- 
ment on three counts: (1) it is written in runes; (2) it con- 
tains the modern word "opdagelse"; (3) the word "risa," 
which also occurs in the inscription, is a 'Vord of recent 
importation in Scandinavia." 

Mr. Anderson is probably correct in stating that "op- 
dagelse," meaning discovery, "had not yet been incorporated 
into any Scandinavian tongue"; but he is surely in error on 
the other two points. Runes were freely used in the North- 
ern countries] much later than 1362. Professor Flom, in 
his discussion of the Kensington inscription, prints a runic 
alphabet that was used for literary purposes in Sweden early 

* Professor Larson was a member of the committee before which Professor Flom 
argued his report, and he coincided with the decision reached. J. S. 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


in the fifteenth century. It is also clear that "reisa," a noun 
meaning journey (and the Kensington rune-master uses the 
noun form only), had found a place in the Northern lan- 
guages some time before 1362. Fritzner, in his old Norse dic- 
tionary, notes the occurrence of the word in a Norwegian 
document dated as early as 1344. 

In conclusion the writer wishes to protest against Mr. 
Anderson's attempt to impute the guilt of forgery to the 
men who first brought the rune stone to light. It is, of 
course, quite possible that Mr. Ohman and his two asso- 
ciates devised the inscription and planted the stone; but the 
burden of proof rests with the one who prefers the charge, 
and Mr. Anderson makes no serious effort to prove his case.^ 
He calls attention to certain circumstances of a decidedly 
suspicious nature; but without further support these cannot 
be regarded as evidence. 


My reply to Professor Larson's criticisms is as follows: 
1. We have the statement of Bishop Gisle Oddson, who in 
1637 transcribed an excerpt from some annals now lost, as follows: 
"The people of Greenland (the Western Settlement) in 1342 vol- 
untarily gave up the Christian faith and cast their lot witli the 
people of America" (ad Americae populos se converterunt)^ This 
emigration is attested to by an eye witness, the priest Ivar Bard- 
sen, who in 1342 visited the Western Settlement immediately 

' In fairness to these three men it should be stated that at the time Mr. Andorjkin 
first published his suspicions, May, 1910, the two survivors A. Anderson and O. Ohnian 
both wrote letters vigorously denying that they had anything to do with the matter. See 
Norwegian- American, Northfield, Minn. June 10, 1910. J. S. 

» Recent writers are generally agreed in rejecting this interpretation. Gustav Stonn 
published an analysis of Bishop Gisle's annals in 1890 and showcil that a.<» an indri>< n.i. nt 
work they have practically no value. (Arkivfor nordisk Filologi. VI.) Sec aUo \ 
In Northern Mists, II, lOl'ff. ; and A. A. Bjornbo, Cartographia Grocnland^ra \ U 3/ 
»er am Gronland, XLVIII, 1911). L. M. L. Storm's remark concemmg Hwhop lMvU)a • 
"hypothesis" is pure guesswork. H. R. H. 


H, R. Holand 

after its evacuation.^ It is evident that the bishop had America 
in mind, for he adds in the next sentence: "It is said that Green- 
land Hes very near to the western lands of the world." As Larson 
properly remarks, the original could not have contained the word 
America. The bishop in translating from Old Norse into Latin 
not only translated the language but also the name. As the Old 
Norse names for America were Markland and Vinland, the origi- 
nal presumably read that the emigrants "cast their lot with the 
people of Markland (or Vinland)." 

The eminent historian, P. A. Munch, accepts this record with- 
out question. He says, "This account has entirely the stamp of 
truth," and adds farther on: "The attacks of the Eskimos were 
perhaps the cause of what an account of the year 1342 states, that 
the Greenlanders voluntarily gave up the Christian faith and 
emigrated to other parts of America."^ 

Mr. Larson and Mr. Nansen^ think that the expression ad 
Americae populos se converterunt means that the Greenlanders 
"adopted the life and belief of the Eskimos of Greenland." They 
bring no proof for this interpretation and one will search in vain 
through the literary remains of Greenland for the least evidence 
of this sudden and unprecedented amalgamation of two hostile 
and widely different races. Moreover, in so doing they put a 
later geographical meaning into the words of the bishop which was 
unknown in his time. These ancient and medieval geographers 
did not conceive of Greenland as a part of America. 

The natives of Greenland are never referred to as the people 
of America by any medieval writer. In the Norse historical 
fragments they are invariably called Skrellinger. In all Latin ac- 
counts they are called Pigmaei, which means the same.^ 

2. Professor Larson's second objection concerns the eighteen 
Norse Greenlanders who in 1347 had been to America (Markland) 
and upon their return voyage were driven to Iceland. When I 
stated that these men the next year left for Bergen, Norway, I 

2jBardsen's narrative is printed by R. H. Major in his Voyages of the Venetian Brothers 
Zeno, Hakluyt Society, 1873; also in Gr inlands Historiske Mindesmerker, III, 259. 
2 Munch, Det N.orske Folks Historie, Unionsperioden, I, 313, 314. 
* F. Nansen, In Northern Mists, II, 100-103. 

^ See Dithmar Blef ken's Islandia, Ley den, 1607; Jacob Ziegler's Scondia in appendix 
to Crantz' Chron. regn. aquilon, Frankfort, 1575; Olaus Magnus' De Gentibus Septentrionis, 
Rome, 1555; and Voyages of the Brothers Zeno, 1558, in Major's book of the same name. 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


invented no new myth as Larson thinks, but merely adopted the 
view held by all earlier commentators on this point. Professor 
Storm, than whom we have no greater authority on the Icelandic 
Annals, says: "When they [the Markland voyagers of 1347] came 
to Bergen, they learned that the royal merchant vessel had re- 
turned from Greenland in 1346 and was not expected to sail again 
soon."^ Professor Magnusen^ and Dr. Gjessing^ also express 
themselves definitely to the same point. 

3. We are not explicitly informed that Paul Knutson visited 
the American mainland, but the circumstances surrounding his 
expedition are such as to make this conclusion almost inevitable. 
His mission was to preserve Christianity in Greenland. As no 
warfare is mentioned as having taken place between the Whites 
and Eskimos until 1379, it is improbable that he spent his time 
warring with the savages. The only place in Greenland where 
Christianity was threatened was in the Western Settlement. Here 
it was not only threatened — it had completely succumbed to ad- 
verse conditions, as was witnessed by the deserted homesteads 
and empty churches. If Paul Knutson was to restore Christian 
worship to these deserted temples — as was his mission according 
to the king's mandate — it would be necessary for him to seek these 
apostates among the people of America whither they had gone and 
either compel them to return or to accept the faith in their new 
homes. This search for a lost tribe among the vast reaches of an 
unknown land explains the long absence of the expedition from 
Norway. According to Storm and Gjessing it was absent nine 
years and did not return until 1364,^ two j^ears after the date upon 
the Kensington stone.^^ 

Was the Kensington expedition a part of the Paul Knutson 
expedition.?^ The mention of the eight Goths (people of south- 
western Sweden) in the inscription is proof of this. The king of 

^ Gustav Storm, Studier over Vinlandsreisernc, 1887, p. 3G5. 

^ F. Magnusen, Gr^nlands Historiske Mindesvierkcr, III, 5.i, 007. 

^ Helge Gjessing, "Kensingtonstenen," printed in Symra, 1909. No. p. 118. 

' See Storm and Gjessing, op. cit. 
Storm believes that the expedition tliat Pan! Knutson was lo lead sailol for (tr<vn- 
land in 1355 and that the royal merchant ship roturnod to Norway in \\\\\ this is all 

conjecture. We have a copy of the royal commission issued i)crliaps in IM.*)* Oho date is 
uncertain), but with this docmncnt Paul Knutson passes out of history. We <\o not know 
that he ever returned to Norway or even that he ever sailed. L. M. L. 


H, R. Holand 

Norway at that time was a Swede by birth, breeding, and resi- 
dence. He visited Norway so seldom that he was compelled in 
1343 to abdicate the throne of Norway in favor of his son Hakon, 
to take effect upon his attaining his majority, which was done in 
1355. King Magnus was also disliked in Sweden, largely because 
of the favoritism he showed to the nobility of Westgothland 
(southwestern Sweden) from which region his own family had 
sprung. He was therefore about the same time obliged to relin- 
quish the throne of Sweden to his other son, Erik. He continued, 
however, to hold Westgothland, where he spent his leisure time 
during his entire life. It is therefore certain that most of his ret- 
inue and dependable men were Goths. In his letter to Paul Knut- 
son written the year before Hakon was crowned king of Norway, 
he instructs Knutson to select the men for his expedition "(1) 
from the king's retinue and (2) from the retainers of other men." 
Unless Paul Ejiutson wanted to slight the king and his court he 
would do as he was bidden and take some of his men from the king's 
retinue. He would presumably also avail himself of his privilege 
of selecting other men and as a good Norwegian would naturally 
pick trusty men from his own associates in Bergen. His followers 
would therefore consist partly of Goths and partly of Norwegians. 
On the Kensington inscription we read of eight Goths and twenty- 
two Norwegians besides the men who had charge of the ships. 
There are several other striking points of identity, but space does 
not permit of their presentation here. 

4. Mr. Larson asks if the term "dogr" or "day's journey" was 
ever used as a unit of distance on land. It appears to me that it 
is unimportant whether or not it was a standard unit of measure 
on land, seeing the inscription was presumably written by a 

It is not easy to accept this view if Mr. Holand is right in assuming that a priest 
accompanied the expedition and dictated the form of the prayer contained in the inscrip- 
tion. Wis. Mag. of Hist. Dec. 1919, p. 171. J. S. 

The Kensington Rune Stone 



It is possible that in my former article I used too strong an ex- 
pression when I stated that the runes passed into desuetude after 
the introduction of Christianity. I might have added "except for 
pastime or as a matter of curiosity among scholars." I am fa- 
miliar with the Codex Runicus found in the Arnemagnian collection 
in Copenhagen which presents all of the old Danish law for Scania, 
but even this does not prove that the runes were used for literary 
purposes. It only shows that scholars understood the runes and 
occasionally as in the Codex Runicus transcribed things in this 
alphabet. In the eighties I myself made a runic inscription for 
the Leif Erikson monument in Boston, but this does not prove 
that the runes were used for literary purposes in the nineteenth 

Alf Torp's assigning the word "risa" to late Old Norse and 
Fritzner's discovery of it in 1344 makes it only possibly, not prob- 
ably, available for runological use in 1362. 

I do not claim to have demonstrated that Fogelblad, Ander- 
son, and Ohman made the Kensington Rune Stone, but I have 
shown how it could have been produced. That these three cronies 
devoted much of their leisure time to the study and discussion of 
runes is certain. 


The presentation of the foregoing symposium closes the dis- 
cussion of the rune stone question, on its present basis, in this 

Joseph Schafer 


John S. Roeseler 
Lomira circuit of the Evangelical Association, at the 
time of its greatest membership, encompassed three large 
and three small congregations. The three large congre- 
gations were within the confines of the town of Lomira, 
while the three smaller ones were just over the border. The 
Salem Church was located near the center of the town on 
the old "German road," which bisected the town from 
east to west. The Immanuel Church was on the same 
road near the western confines of the town, while the 
Ebenezer Church was not far from the northeastern corner. 


In 1846 the Jacob Meyer family settled in Mound Prairie, 
near the western part of the town of Lomira, formerly called 
Springfield. Three years previously this family, emigrating 
from Wurtemberg, Germany, had located in the town of 
Greenfield, Milwaukee County, and had there come in 
contact with the Evangelical Association. In 1850 Will 
Tillman, a native of Siegerland, Westphalia, and one of a 
•sect known as the Pietists, settled in the Meyer neighbor- 
hood. Having been used to regular Sunday services in the 
Fatherland, he felt deeply the need of them in this new 
settlement; one day he said to his neighbor, Mrs. Jacob 
Meyer, that the want of real Christian religious services 
made him so homesick for the Fatherland that it would 

^ The Evangelical Association is purely of American origin, having been founded 
anaong the Pennsylvania Germans by Jacob Albrecht in the year 1800. By outsiders for 
some years the followers of the new sect were known simply as Albrecht Brethren. From 
Pennsylvania the denomination spread throughout the United States and to Germany 
and Switzerland; at the present time it maintains missions in China and Japan. The 
work is now carried on mainly in English and it is anticipated that within a few years' 
time the English language will be used exclusively by the denomination. From the 
beginning the Evangelical Association was a zealous supporter of the American public 
school system. It never established a system of parochial schools, and such day schools 
as were set up here and there were so administered as not to conflict with the public schools. 

The town of Lomira, the seat of Lomira circuit, is in northwestern Dodge County, 
a few miles south of Fond du Lac. 

The Evangelical Association on Lomira Circuit 393 

compel him to ''pull up stakes" and return. Mrs. Meyer 
thereupon told him of the godly life and the inspiring ser- 
mons of the Evangelical ministers in the town of Greenfield 
and gave him their names and addresses. Tillman without 
delay addressed an earnest entreaty to the Reverend C. A. 
Schnake to bring the gospel message to the German settlers 
of Mound Prairie, later designated for many years in 
Evangelical church circles as Huelster's vicinity. As C. A. > 
Schnake and his assistant, George Fleischer, were then 
stationed on the very extensive Menomonie circuit, which 
included the town of Greenfield, it was not possible for 
them to comply at once with this urgent invitation. In the 
meantime the Reverend Mr. Wenz of Fond du Lac, a 
German Methodist Episcopal minister, visited ]Mound 
Prairie and preached several times in the house of that 
liberal-minded freethinker, Jacob Meyer. Several persons 
were there converted. Thereafter the gold fever, then rag- 
ing, enticed Jacob Meyer to California, but his family 
remained and with equal hospitality opened the house to 
the Evangelical ministers. 

On January 22, 1851 the Reverend Mr. Schnake 
preached the first Evangelical sermon to an appreciative 
group in the Meyer home. At the close of the services he 
cordially invited his audience to attend a quarterly meeting 
to be held in the town of Greenfield at the beginning of 
February. W. Tillman, W. Stracke, P. Marquardt, and 
Carl Schaefer, acting on the invitation, made the sixty-mile 
journey on foot, while Caroline Meyer with a two-year-old 
child rode with a neighbor who was making a busuicss trip 
to Milwaukee. She stopped over night in :Milwaiikco and 
the next day found an opportunity to ride out willi tlir 
others to the quarterly meeting place in the town of (ircon- 
field. All five were taken in as members of the Kvnn.i^elical 
Association at this meeting, after all except Tillniaiu who 
was known as "ein Frommer," were converted and regen- 


John S. Roeseler 

Shortly after this, when the Reverend Mr. Wenz again 
preached in Mound Prairie, he urged his hearers to unite 
with the German Methodist Episcopal Church, which he 
represented. When no one responded to his invitation, he 
seemed downhearted. W. Tillman then informed him that 
Evangelical ministers had been requested to hold services 
here and that some of his hearers in attendance had already- 
become members of that denomination. After this state- 
ment Tillman said in a whisper to his neighbor, 'T don't 
like the name 'Methodist'; 'Evangelical' sounds better to 
my ears." This expressed prejudice and sentiment seemed 
to voice the feelings of all these newcomers from the Father- 
land. Mr. Wenz therefore discontinued his visits to this 
vicinity and gave the right of way to the Evangelical 

W^hen in February, 1851 the Reverend C. A. Schnake 
preached his second sermon in the Meyer house at Mound 
Prairie Christian Sydow and Michael and William Zickerick 
from the German settlement at Lomira Center were present. 
The message so impressed them that at the close of the 
meeting they requested Mr. Schnake to visit Lomira Center 
and preach a sermon there. They promised to secure the 
public schoolhouse as a meeting place and to make the 
meeting known to all the German settlers of the community. 
Mr. Schnake accepted the invitation and on the next day, 
February 26, 1851, preached the first Evangelical sermon 
at the Lomira Center schoolhouse, a log building situated on 
the southwest corner of the John Zickerick farm at the 
present site of the Lutheran Church. A Prussian, and an 
officer in the Prussian army, this inspired speaker naturally 
and easily found the key to the hearts of these, his Prussian 
hearers. "The schoolhouse was crowded to its capacity," 
he writes, 'Vith attentive listeners. Never before had I 
witnessed in a new settlement what I saw here. Before 
proceeding to prayer I remarked that it was customary among 

The Evangelical Association on Lomira Circuit 395 

Evangelical people to kneel during prayer, and when I then 
said, Xet us pray,' nearly all present sank to their knees. 
Also during the sermon I observed a most unusual attention, 
and that the message was making a marvellous impression 
on my hearers. This observation inspired my heart \' ith 
the fond hope that some day there should be gathered 
here for the Lord a great people!" 

From the time of this first meeting of February 26, up ^ 
to the annual conference in June, 1851, the Reverend Mr. 
Schnake and his assistant, George Fleischer, alternately 
conducted religious services at Lomira Center once every 
two weeks. In March of the same year Michael and William 
Zickerick, Henry and August Huelster, William and Carl 
Schneider, and Will Tillman attended a quarterly meeting 
in Town 9 (Richfield) at Manz's. The two Huelster 
brothers were converted, and they together with the five 
others from Lomira enrolled as members of the Evangelical 

At the annual Illinois conference held at Brookfield, 
in June, 1851, the Wisconsin district was formed and the 
Reverend J. J. Escher was assigned to it as presiding elder. 
Lomira was separated from the Menomonie circuit and 
incorporated in the newly -formed Oshkosh mission, which 
was assigned for two successive years to the Reverend W. 
Strassburger. The Illinois conference in 1854 divided the 
Oshkosh mission, assigning J. G. Esslinger to Oshkosh and 
vicinity and erecting Lomira as a separate mission, assigned 
to L. Buehler. He divided what was then designated 
as the Zickerick congregation into two classes, with the 
mill-pond and creek as the dividing line between the two. 
In the western class, then designated as the Zion class, ^f. 
Zickerick was chosen class leader and John Zimnu i nian 
exhorter, while in the eastern, designated as the Zoar class, 
W. Zickerick was chosen class leader and Jolui Fritsche 
exhorter. W^hen the following year W. Zickerick entered 


John S. Roeseler 

the ministry, Gustav Fritsche was elected his successor as 
class leader. 

The first Evangelical quarterly meeting in the town 
of Lomira was held in the Lomira Center log schoolhouse 
on Zickerick's farm in the year 1851, under the leadership 
of C. A. Schnake. At this meeting Brother Schnake took 
in forty-two new members, most of them still unregenerated. 
Michael Zickerick alone had, just before the beginning of 
the meeting, experienced forgiveness of sin; and during the 
progress of the meeting his brother William reached the same 

The second quarterly meeting was held in Huelster's 
vicinity, in the house of Will Tillman. At this meeting 
Presiding Elder Escher preached inspiring sermons, impress- 
ing his hearers as a son of thunder, brimful of dynamic force. 
Tillman, the first class leader in Huelster's vicinity, finding 
many of the customs and practices of the Evangelical 
Association not to his liking, withdrew in 1852 from the 
denomination. Henry Huelster was elected as his successor, 
and after four years of devoted and capable service as class 
leader he entered the ministry. 

During the two-year ministry of W. Strassburger, 
Lomira Center experienced a marked revival. As a fruitage 
of this growth in spirituality it became possible to hold a 
camp meeting in the town of Lomira, June 15 to 20, 1853. 
This first Evangelical camp meeting was held in Michael 
Zickerick's grove, located on the eastern slope of Evangelical 
cemetery hill at Lomira Center. Nineteen of the twenty 
that came forward to seek grace at the altar experienced 
forgiveness of sin before the meeting ended. 

For two successive years the camp meeting was held in 
the part of the grove described and was then transferred for 
a series of years to the vicinity of the present residence of 
John Buerger, adjacent to the pond, whence it was later, 
during the time of the Civil War, transferred to Brother 
Christian Ehrhard's grove near the Huelster vicinity. 

The Evangelical Association on Lomira Circuit 397 

The labors of the Reverend J. G. EssKnger and his assist- 
ant, Leonard von Wald, in this field during the conference 
year 1853-54 were not without blessing. But C. A. Schnake 
says, "The year 1854-55 under the efficient leadership of 
Leonard Buehler witnessed anew a glorious outpouring of 
the Holy Ghost on Lomira mission. A large number of 
souls were brought to Christ by this devoted servant of the 
Master, and were enrolled as members of the church." > 
Among the newly-enrolled members who had this year 
arrived from the Fatherland Frederick and Caroline Roeseler 
merit special mention. Both to life's end remained 
loyal and devoted members, taking a very active part in 
services, prayer meetings, Sunday school, and every kind 
of church work. No matter how long and how poor the 
way, nor how bad the weather, they were always at their 
post. Caroline Roeseler, in particular, led many to Christ 
by her godly life and example. Through the rich store of 
Bible passages, proverbs, and poetic selections at her 
command, she comforted the sick and distressed and stirred 
the conscience of the erring and unregenerated. No matter 
with whom she came in contact, she never lacked the courage 
to direct the conversation to spiritual things. Notwith- 
standing her unassuming manner, she was widely known in 
church circles through her unselfish life and her clfc^rts 
to remove friction. Frederick Roeseler is particularly 
remembered for his inspiring prayers and for his clear, 
melodious voice, vibrant with sublime feeling, in starting 
and leading the singing at revivals. Others that contributed 
in various ways toward stimulating the spiritual life in the 
community were Caroline Fritsche, Ernestine Knsclike, 
Marie Korte, Theresa Fritsche, John Fritsche. John Zinunrr- 
man, Frederick Merten, Henriette Meyer, AVilhimint^ 
Fenner, Louise Hankwitz, and Frederich Klaelseh. 


In 1855, one year before Wisconsin became an indi jxMid- 
ent conference, Lomira was made a circuit and nssiuntMl 


John S, Roeseler 

to the Reverend Oswald Ragatz. A goodly number of souls 
were won through his devoted labor and through the 
efficient assistance and cordial co-operation of the local 
preacher, Michael Zickerick. In the first year of Ragatz' 
ministry the village of Hartford, to which the Evangelical 
family of Anton Fischbach had moved from Milwaukee, 
was added to the list of communities regularly served by 
the pastors of Lomira circuit. C. A. Schnake served this 
circuit the two years following, being assisted during his 
first year by W. F. Schneider and during the second by 
J. Banzhaff. The former entered the ministry from Lomira 
circuit and later won fame as head bookkeeper and pub- 
lisher of the Evangelical Publishing House. During these 
two years there were one hundred thirty conversions, and 
one hundred names were added to the membership list of 
the church. In the same period of time Mr. Schnake took 
up and added to the list of his regular appointments the 
following places: Rex schoolhouse (four miles north of 
Hartford) ; Beaver Dam ; Fond du Lac (had once been taken 
up but had been again abandoned); Horicon; Mayville; 
Graef e's (two miles east of New Cassel) ; The Island (three 
miles north of Mayville) ; and a settlement four miles from 
Beaver Dam. 

In 1858 a frame church, twenty feet by forty, was built 
at Hartford. Brother Schnake recorded that a part of the 
carpentry and masonry work was done gratis by members 
of the congregation; that though these brothers depended 
on their handicraft for their living, they in addition sub- 
scribed liberally toward the payment of the church debt. 

At the last quarterly meeting preceding the annual 
state conference of 1857 the new frame schoolhouse at 
Lomira Center was so overcrowded that Presiding Elder 
G. A. Blank was prompted to remark in his characteristic 
way, "I hope you will in your crowding today step on one 
another's corns good and hard. Possibly that would 



The Evangelical Association on Lomira Circuit 399 

stimulate you sufficiently to take adequate steps for the 
erection of a house of worship." This remark gave the 
impetus to the holding of a meeting of the members in 
Father John W. Fritsche's house. Father Fritsche 
offered an acre of his farm as a site for a church, which was 
regarded as very suitable by the Schwartz and Schmidt 
settlement near the southeast corner of the town, but those 
to the north and west thought that the Michael Zickerick 
hill on the German road, east of where the old village ^ 
sprang up later, would be more central. M. Zickerick 
agreed to let them have it, and it was accepted. All sub- 
scribed the amount of cash they could afford to contribute, 
but as all were poor these amounts were small — the highest 
being $25. 

When C. A. Schnake arrived in the spring of 1857 to 
begin his work as pastor of Lomira circuit, to which the 
conference had just assigned him, he found the brethren 
clearing the site for the church. When winter set in, the 
walls were eight feet high, but lack of time and means 
prevented the completion of the building during Brother 
Schnake's two years of service on the circuit. The pressing 
problem that stared all these pioneer parishioners in the 
face was to produce and earn enough to eke out a meager 
existence. To this end they plodded early and late, winter 
and summer. Surplus products were few and of a very 
limited quantity; markets were distant and hard to reach 
by ox teams on roads at times almost impassable ; and pri • s 
on most of the saleable products were shamefully low. The 
heavily timbered land, strewn with countless large boulders, 
required a vast amount of labor before it was fit for cultiva- 
tion; harvesting with rude implements among the myriads 
of stumps and boulders was difficult. Fortunately A. 
Tarnutzer, the successor of C. A. Schnake, was the right 
man to grapple with difficulties at this stage. lie was yciuiig 
and energetic, indomitably persevering, rosourcofuK and 


John S. Roeseler 

possessed of fine business ability. He succeeded in collecting 
the funds still needed for the completion of the work; in 
1860 he had the church ready for dedication. 

From 1854 to 1867 an old log house west of Ebenezer 
Church served as a parsonage. When L. Buehler was 
stationed for the first time on Lomira circuit, Mother 
Steiner generously donated this house, with an acre of 
ground, to the association. At the same time it served as a 
meeting place for the Ebenezer congregation until the 
erection of the brick- veneered church edifice in 1872. In 
1867 Lomira circuit purchased the Durant residence west 
of the old Lomira village with several acres of land as a 
parsonage, and it remained the parsonage for about fifty 
years. H. Guelig was the first pastor to reside in this house. 
During his two years of service he occupied it conjointly 
with the presiding elder, L. Buehler. During the pastorate 
of F. T. Eilert the old building was replaced by a new and 
more commodious one; about twenty -five years later, during 
the pastorate of L. F. Kiekhoef er, the old parsonage property 
was sold and a new parsonage was built near the recently- 
erected Salem Church, about one-half mile from its former 

The Kekoskee and Eden churches were built during the 
pastorate of L. F. Emmert from 1886 to 1889. The new 
Salem Church dates from the pastorate of F. W. Huebner. 
It was built on the opposite side of the road from the spot 
where the old log schoolhouse stood in which C. A. Schnake 
had preached the first Evangelical sermon at Lomira Center. 
For over half a century the old brick structure had served 
the needs of the congregation. 

The annual state conference met in Lomira in the years 
1864, 1873, and 1913. The first and third times the con- 
ference session was held in the Salem Church, and the 
second time in the Immanuel Church. From the formation 
of the district to 1864 Lomira circuit had formed a part of 

The Evangelical Association on Lomira Circuit 401 

the Milwaukee district, while previous to this date, as a 
mission, it had been under the jurisdiction of the Wisconsin 
district. At this session the Fond du Lac district was 
formed and C. A. Schnake was assigned as its presiding 
elder. G. Fritsche was stationed on the Lomira circuit. 

That Lomira was chosen as a permanent convention 
center for the Young People's Alliance and that a tabernacle 
was erected for that purpose and for holding annual camp 
meetings was due to the effective labors of F. W. Umbreit 
on this circuit. It was his pre-eminent business ability, 
energy, and resourcefulness that planned the project and 
made it an accomplished fact. This also made it possible 
for the quadrennial national, or general convention of the 
Y. P. A. to be held here in 1915. 


The enlistment of a number of the members in the 
Union army during the Civil War drew those at home closer 
together and stimulated a more active religious spirit. A 
few of the enlisted brethren suffered from wounds or from 
serious sickness, but all except Gustav Seefeld and Charles 
Sydow returned. The Reverend William Zickerick as 
captain of artillery with the Twelfth Wisconsin Battery 
distinguished himself. It was a day of rejoicing when these 
men returned. 

Shortly after this time a number of the pioneer famiHes 
moved to Minnesota. Their places, however, were soon 
taken by new immigrants from Germany. Later came a 
second great emigration, when people removed in groups 
to South Dakota, Iowa, Texas, and northern Wisconsin. 
Thus the greater part of the pioneers together with most of 
their descendants and relatives disappeared from tlio scene, 
and the Salem congregation, which had been the largest on 
the circuit, became the smallest. What made the situation 
still more critical was that about the same time a group 


John S. Roeseler 

of the most important spiritual leaders and church workers 
was summoned by death, among them F. Klaetsch, Wil- 
hemine Fenner, Maria Roeseler, Caroline Roeseler, Caroline 
Fritsche, and, not long after, J. Zimmerman. 

This depletion in both numbers and leadership for 
some years caused a desperate struggle for existence. But 
the day was saved by the coming of a number of Evangelical 
families from other congregations. This not only assured 
the future existence of Salem congregation, but also ushered 
in a new period of progress. Much of the credit for this is 
due to the leadership of F. W. Umbreit. He secured the 
co-operation of the Grantmann brothers with their wide 
and influential relationship, noted for "push," thrift, and 
frugality, in his project of making Lomira Center a camp 
meeting and convention center and a point of attraction 
to Evangelical families. Fortunately his two successors, 
F. W. Huebner and L. F. Kiekhoefer, kept the ball rolling. 
Under the former, the fiftieth anniversary of the building of 
Salem Church was celebrated; Mr. Huebner also secured the 
erection of the new Salem church at its new location, while 
L. F. Kiekhoefer secured the erection of the new parsonage 
near the church. 

This, then, has been, in detail, the story of the Evangeli- 
cal movement in the Lomira circuit. In the sixty years 
from 1856 to 1916 there were 1,856 conversions, 1,820 
members enrolled, 1,387 children baptised, 1,030 who moved 
away, 131 who withdrew from the church, 55 who were 
expelled, and 240 who died. The present membership is 
379. There are four Young People's Alliances with a 
membership of 195, and one Junior Alliance with a member- 
ship of 25, five congregations, six church edifices, one 
parsonage, four Sunday schools with 68 teachers and officers 
and 430 pupils, four catechism classes with 40 catechumens. 
The statistics for 1851 to 1856 are lacking. 

The Evangelical Association on Lomira Circuit 403 


The secret of this prosperous record hes in the Hfe and 
community interests of the EvangeHcal famiHes. Great 
zeal and untiring activity characterized these members of 
the EvangeHcal faith. Sunday was a day dedicated entirely 
to the nurture of the soul. Nothing that could be done on 
week days was left to be done on Sunday. Bathing, shaving, 
and shoe-cleaning were attended to on Saturday, which left 
Sunday free from all hurry, worry, and worldly care. They 
rose just as early as on other days so that after the necessary 
chores were done there might be time for Bible study and 
reading before services. All, both old and young, attended 
service and prayer meeting. Sunday evenings, there being 
ordinarily no service, were given over to the telling of Bible 
stories to the children, or to reading to them from the church 
papers and from storybooks drawn from the Sunday school 
library, to memorizing passages of Scripture, and to cate- 
chetical instruction. Christmas, New Year, Easter, Pente- 
cost, and Thanksgiving days were utilized in similar ways 
in the family circle. On all these occasions except Thanks- 
giving two days were usually kept. Thus children and 
young people early became familiar with Bible lore and the 
salient points in church history. The names and achieve- 
ments of the great reformers as well as the trials and suffer- 
ings of the great martyrs were common knowledge in those 
pioneer days. 

When people proceeded on their way to and from places 
of worship, they preserved a prayerful contemplation of 
things spiritual, whether they were alone or in conversation 
with others. They always remembered the words of the 
text and the book and chapter from which it was selected. 
They discussed and elaborated the thoughts brought out in 
the sermon. It was then customary ui)()n entering the 
church to kneel in the pew for silent ])niyer. There was no 
gathering in^groups^^^putside of the church for worldly talk 


John S, Roeseler 

or jests; all entered at once. The singing of the hymns 
withdrew the minds from outside distractions and put them 
in a receptive mood for the message. As soon as the pastor 
rose to speak he felt that his congregation was in full accord 
with him, hungry for the message. Every word he uttered 
came from the heart and went straight to the heart of his 
hearers. "Amen," "God grant it," and "Hallelujah" were 
frequently heard during the sermon from every part of the 
congregation. The prayer of a lay-member at the close of the 
services was fluent and full of fervor, and many were ready 
to respond. When opportunity for testimony was offered, 
all were eager to speak. There was then a preference for 
front seats at services, so that the vacant seats, if any, 
were found in the rear. Visitors could not keep members 
from services; each brought his visitors along. 

The missionary spirit was strong, everyone being con- 
cerned not only for his own salvation, but also for the 
salvation of his neighbor. If anyone who was not seriously 
ill absented himself from any service or from the semi- 
weekly prayer meeting, it signified that a cooling, if not 
a backsliding, process had set in that needed immedi- 
ate checking. Without delay c^ass leaders, exhorters, as 
well as other zealous members, called upon the brother or 
sister to feel the pulse and admonish him not to yield to 
Satan. Outsiders were invited into the church and were 
welcomed with warm cordiality, so that they easily became 
acquainted and felt at home. It was not uncommon to 
extend the hospitality of the home and of the table to the 
visitor of the church. 

No matter how pressing and how hard the labor, every 
family found time for both morning and evening family 
worship. At this service a chapter was read from the Bible, 
one or several stanzas were sung, and every member in 
turn uttered a short prayer. The daily singing in the 
family cultivated a taste and love for song, and early 

The Evangelical Association on Lomira Circuit 405 

developed a musical tone of voice. Family worship was 
not omitted at threshing or other occasions, and outsiders 
were invited to participate. 

Evangelical members, though none of them were rich 
and the majority very poor, in these early days were ever 
ready to extend aid and comfort to the sick and the needy 
and to contribute as liberally as they could to the support 
of the church. They brought what they had of their own ' 
initiative, without pressure or prompting, as a rule. On 
visiting the sick they were ever ready to pray with and for 
them, or to quote Bible passages for comforting them or 
making plain the plan of salvation. Where such Good 
Samaritan services could be rendered or a soul be won for 
Christ, there was no work too pressing, no weather too 
bad, no road too rough or too miry. 

No alcoholic drink was used in the family or dispensed 
by Evangelical families at threshing, barn-raising, or 
similar occasions, though it was the common custom among 
neighbors of other faiths. Coffee, tea, milk, water, and lem- 
onade alone were offered. So also Evangelical members 
refused to take alcoholic drinks at the threshings and barn- 
raisings, or auctions, weddings, and baptismal festivals 
among neighbors. They also refused to enter a saloon for 
a drink, even though the drink offered was nonalcohoHc. 
Their Evangelical membership implied abstinence from 
strong drink, and they took the pledge to heart. 

Perhaps few parents devote as much time and attention 
to their children as did the Salem church pioneers. A^ lu n 
the mother was busy with spinning, knitting, da mini:, 
sewing, cooking, washing, and other houseliold work, slie 
not only initiated her children into all these household arts, 
but also instructed them in religion and taught tlu in lo 
read and to write in her native tongue. These motliers, 
without a **higher education," prayed for wisdom from on 
high. That their prayers were heard is evidiMit fn)ni the 


John S, Roeseler 

fact that some of them used means and methods of child- 
training that are unsurpassed by our best modern peda- 
gogues. The children not only learned to read and to write 
the German language but they were also made familiar with 
the Old Testament heroes and with the life of Christ. 
Systematically each week they were required to memorize 
passages of Scripture for the Sunday school and questions 
and answers from the catechism. 

Were children caught in wrongdoing, the mother 
administered an appropriate punishment and also gave 
concrete moral instruction that touched the conscience 
and left a lasting impression. This was done by the telling 
of a short story suggesting a moral, followed by an appro- 
priate Bible passage, line of poetry, or proverb. The children 
were required to learn this, repeating it day by day until 
it was permanently fixed in the mind. Following are a few 
typical examples of these German proverbs: 

Jung gewohnt, alt getan. 

Was Haenschen nicht lernt, das lernt Hans nimmermehr. 
Wer etwas kann, denhaeltman werth; dem Ungeschickten Niemand 

Mit Kleinem faengt man an, mit Grossem hoert man auf . 

Ehrlich waehrt am laengsten. 

Nach getaner Arbeit ist gut Ruhn. 

Ein gut Gewissen ist ein sanftes Ruhekissen. 

Die Wahrheit rede stets und wag es nie zu luegen, die Menschen 
magst du zwar, doch niemals Gott betruegen. 

Quaele nie ein Tier zum Seherz, denn es fuehlt wie du den Schmerz. 
Junges Blut, spar dein Gut, Armut im Alter wehe tut. 
Muessiggang ist aller Laster Anfang. 
Besser Unrecht leiden als Unrecht tun. 

Lust und Liebe zum Ding macht alle Mueh' und Arbeit gering. 
Der Kluegste schweigt still. 
Unrecht Gut gedeiht nicht. 

When the children went on a visit to neighbors, they 
were instructed never to pocket and bring home anything, 
no matter how trifling. Whatever they found or picked up 
on a neighbor's premises, even if it were but a button or a 

The Evangelical Association on Lomira Circuit 407 

pin, had to be handed to the owner. Johnnie, a four-year- 
old boy, returning from a visit with friends, was in bed when 
his mother, examining his cast-off clothes, found a small 
buckle in his pocket. Holding the buckle before his eyes 
she asked, "How and where did you get this?" He could 
not recall how it had come into his possession; probably 
he had unconsciously picked it up somewhere during play 
and put it in his pocket. His mother dressed him, and 
told him that he must that very evening return the buckle 
to the people whom he had visited during the day. Although 
the night was pitch dark and the road muddy, with a lantern 
in her hand and her little son on her back she made the mile- 
distant trip. The boy handed back the buckle to the people 
and begged pardon for having carried it home with him. 
The people had not missed the buckle, could not identify 
it as their property, and, besides, regarded it of no value. 
It was the mother's purpose, however, to make a lasting 
impression on her boy, and for this reason she regarded the 
hard trip as worth while. The lesson was never forgotten. 
This is only one of numerous examples that might be given 
to show how this mother utilized every possible opportunity 
for imparting concrete moral instruction. 

I will cite one more example. When this boy had reached 
the age which, if not wisely directed into the proper clian- 
nels, finds an outlet for surplus energy in all sorts of tricks 
and pranks his mother one day proposed to him a most 
interesting escapade. "Our neighbor today," said she, 
"has cut down a field of wheat which still lies in unbound 
sheaves, because he was not able to secure help and because 
of his own and his daughter's illness. How interesting it 
would be if you and your sister would secretly bind and 
shock this field of wheat! When the neighbor conies to 
bind it tomorrow, he will be surprised to find that it lias 
already been bound and set up. He will think that some 
good brownies must have done it during the night. It will 


John S. Roeseler 

be great fun. You must always keep 'mum' and never let 
anyone know that you and your sister did it. This is the 
Biblical way of not letting your right hand know what your 
left hand does. It is the doing of a good deed quietly and 
unseen, without earthly remuneration, that is rewarded by 
our Father in heaven." The boy's enthusiasm for the 
escapade was at once kindled; a little before midnight he 
and his sister had finished the task. No detective was ever 
employed to ferret out the perpetrators; and the children 
never found cause to regret the deed. 


A German day school, a German evening writing school, 
a German literary society, and a German singing society 
were maintained to supplement not only the home training 
but also the training in the Sunday school, catechetical 
instruction classes, and the public school. For a consider- 
able time a juvenile prayer meeting was maintained, not to 
supplant the regular prayer meeting but to supplement it. 
This juvenile prayer meeting was held in the house of F. 
Fenner, because of its central location. John Zimmerman 
who had an unusually cheerful disposition and an interesting 
manner of talking, usually led these meetings. All young 
people and children attended and participated in prayers 
and testimonials. 

An old frame building bought from T. Seefeld and moved 
with ox teams to the southwest corner of the old parsonage 
premises was used as a schoolhouse. The teachers who were 
employed at different times were Mr. Fisher, F. Klaetsch, 
Caroline Roeseler, and John Roeseler. The Bible served 
as reader for the advanced classes, the beginners using 
the same beginners' book that was used in the Sunday 
school. Besides the reading of several chapters daily, the 
pupils memorized the names of the books of the Bible so 
that they could repeat them as readily as the multiplication 

The Evangelical Association on Lomira Circuit 409 

table, and then were held to apply this knowledge by 
practical daily exercise. The teacher announced the verse 
and chapter of some book while the pupils opened their 
Bibles quickly to see who could first place his finger on the 
verse. The one who first found the place read the passage 
aloud. German writing, spelling, and several other subjects 
were taught. The evening writing school was held when the 
day school was not kept, and was taught by John Roeseler. 
He also organized the German literary society. 

Hannah Buslaff, Louise Kuederling, Dr. Wenzel, Theo- 
dore Hankwitz, and E. Knop at different times gave instruc- 
tion in singing. Of unsurpassed value was the training in 
note-reading and chorus-singing under Dr. Wenzel. He 
required all singing to be done without instrumental 
accompaniment. Fortunately the young people of Salem 
Church and their elders appreciated the value of his services 
in this work and utilized the opportunity to the fullest ex- 
tent. For over twenty -five years the beneficial effects of 
Dr. Wenzel's singing school could easily be recognized in 
the Salem congregation. 

In the Sunday school effort was made not only to train 
the children in German reading, but also to make them 
familiar with the Scriptures. For many years F. Klaetsch 
was the great leader in all Sunday school work. He, as no 
other, understood how to keep up an interest in the memor- 
izing of Bible verses, so that during his leadership this 
line of work never lagged. A number of pupils then regularly 
memorized from ten to twenty verses for each Sunday, and 
some occasionally memorized from fifty to one hundred. 
F. Klaetsch also required the pupils to memorize the 
Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Creed, ami 
some of the great hymns. He also secured Holfniann's 
Erzaehlungen for the Sunday school library, and tluvsc very 
interesting books were read aloud in i)ractically every 
family circle of the Salem congregation. 


John S, Roeseler 

Religious catechetical instruction was in the early days 
considered of supreme importance; and parents as a rule 
gave full co-operation in making the minister's efforts 
effective. It was a rare thing for children to come to such 
instruction without being prepared for their lessons, and 
children were sent regularly and promptly. Among those 
who devoted themselves to work with the children H. Gue- 
lig easily ranks first. He always devoted a full school day 
on Saturdays to this work and had the children bring their 
lunch with them. He not only heard them recite what they 
had memorized, but he also trained them in the reading and 
writing of German and gave them instruction in chorus- 

Extraordinary efforts were put forth to make the 
Sunday school Christmas exercises attractive and instruc- 
tive. Practically every Sunday school pupil was represented 
on the program with a declamation, dialogue, or song. On 
Christmas Eve the program, consisting of alternate speaking 
and singing, was heard by people from far and near. The 
one or two large Christmas trees were splendidly decorated, 
and brilliantly illuminated with wax tapers. At the close 
of the literary program the roll was called and the gifts 
handed out. Each pupil received a large paper sack filled 
with apples, a small paper sack filled with nuts and candy, 
and a booklet or card. The old pioneers believed in Sciiiller's 
saying, "Die Jugend will sich aussern, will sich freuen," 
and therefore put their whole soul into the matter of making 
this an especially impressive occasion for the children and 

On the Fourth of July much effort was put into the 
Sunday school picnic. A program of patriotic addresses, 
declamations, and songs was followed by refreshments and 
all kinds of amusements and games for old and young. 


The different agencies that promoted acquaintance and 
common interest among Evangelical people from all con- 

The Evangelical Association on Lomira Circuit 411 

gregations on Lomira circuit were, especially, quarterly 
meetings, protracted meetings, and camp meetings. 

At quarterly meetings in any of the churches there were 
representatives from every church on the circuit. In 
summer people came with lumber wagons; in winter with 
bobsleds; and each brought as many with him as could 
crowd on. The meetings usually opened on Friday evening 
and closed on Sunday night, with three services on Sunday. 
On Sunday all the visitors from other churches were enter- 
tained for both dinner and supper. Thus many members 
of every congregation in time made the rounds, becoming 
well acquainted with families of all other congregations on 
the circuit. 

The protracted, or revival meetings were held in the 
winter, when the people had the most leisure. For weeks, 
evening after evening, when sleighing was good, even 
though at times the weather was bitter cold, there would 
come bobsleigh loads of people from the neighboring 
churches. Also there came not a few people from other 
denominations, partly out of curiosity, partly because of 
the good singing, and partly because of the powerful 
sermons. Thus the church was packed from beginning to 
end. When the meeting closed in one of the churches, it 
began shortly in another, and so continued with little 
interruption during the winter, a considerable number 
from each church following it wherever it went. The sing- 
ing at these meetings was soul-stirring, most of the members 
knowing the favorite hymns and choruses by heart. As 
the sleigh loads of people returned home after tlie meeting, 
they continued singing their favorite hymns and cliornses. 
To those who listened from a distance, it seemed like 
heavenly music. 

Once a year all the congregations, not only from the 
circuit, but from all the circuits, stations, and missions of the 
presiding-elder district, met in annual camp meeting in the 


John S. Roeseler 

month of June. This fostered the extension of acquaint- 
ances and the closer knitting of ties of the entire district. 

For the first ten years these camp meetings had been 
held in Zickerick's grove near Salem Church at Lomira 
Center, but were then transferred to Brother Ehrhardt's 
grove in the Huelster vicinity. This beautiful grove with 
its crystalline clear spring was an ideal place for these 
gatherings. I can still see in my mind's eye this large, square 
assembly-place, surrounded by board tents, with four or 
more rows of rough planks laid across logs for seats. By 
burning dry basswood on wooden, clay-covered scaffolds, 
erected at each of the four corners, illumination was fur- 
nished for the evening services. The open assembly-place 
was beautifully shaded by linden, elm, and hickory trees. 

At an early hour in the morning singing resounded from 
every tent, indicating that family prayer was then in 
progress. At that early day, the people, though poor, 
showed great hospitality and liberality. Visitors received 
meals, a considerable number even lodging at the tents. 
Outside of each tent was a stove, and the meals were served 
on long tables. On Sundays most of the tables were spread 
three times to accommodate all visitors. 

Especially impressive was the farewell ceremony on 
the last assembly morning when all present stood in a semi- 
circle with the ministers at the head. During the singing 
of one or more songs the ministers passed down the line 
shaking hands with each one as they passed, stationing 
themselves at length at the foot of the line; the members 
then immediately followed until the last person in the line 
had made the rounds. Many eyes were wet during this 
ceremony as it brought into remembrance the ones who in 
the previous year had been in line to bid them farewell, and 
with that the thought of how many now at hand would be 
missing from the ceremony the coming year. 

Three local preachers, Michael Zickerick, John Zimmer- 
man, and John Fritsche, rendered extraordinary services 

The Evangelical Association on Lomira Circuit 413 

on Lomira circuit. All three were pioneer members of the 
Salem congregation. During the sickness of O. Ragatz 
most of the second year of his service on the circuit, the 
work was done by Michael Zickerick. He later did equally 
valuable service after he removed to Minnesota. During 
F. Huelster's second year on Lomira circuit, John Zimmer- 
man served as his regular assistant instead of as a mere 
local preacher. The services rendered by John Fritsche and , 
John Zimmerman made it possible to get along on the 
large Lomira circuit for years with but one regular paid 
minister. Notwithstanding the strenuous farm work of the 
two local preachers, Sunday after Sunday in good and bad 
weather and with good and bad roads they filled the pulpit 
in one or several places, and all this without money. They 
were also not infrequently called upon to officiate at funeral 
services during the week. At revival meetings they rendered 
valuable assistance to the regular circuit minister. Of the 
two, Zimmerman was the more hopeful, cheerful and 
animated, while Fritsche was the more profound thinker 
and student. Had the latter enjoyed a high school and 
college education and entered the regular ministry he would 
doubtless have taken rank among the foremost ministers 
in the conference, as he was endowed by nature with more 
than common gifts of mind and heart, and had unbounded 
energy and capacity for work. Though he had good horses 
in the barn, he usually preferred to let his horses rest on 
Sunday and made his long trips on foot. 

What is most remarkable among the numerous enlist- 
ments in the ministerial work from this town and circuit is 
that five sons of the Huelster family responded to the call, 
becoming successful ministers and serving in divers fields 
with distinction. They and their parents were anioni: the 
first fruits of Evangelical effort in this vicinity, being 
converts from the Roman Catholic faith. August and 
Henry were the first of the family to be converted and tliey 


John S, Roeseler 

were also the first two of the brothers to take up the gospel 
work. At the age of sixteen August was chosen as class 
leader and at the age of eighteen he entered on ministerial 
work. A year later Henry also entered on ministerial 
work, after having faithfully served for four years as 
class leader. August did pioneer ministerial duty in the 
Illinois, Minnesota, and Dakota conferences, and he served 
as presiding elder in both Wisconsin and Dakota. He is 
the author of an interesting book, Gnadenwunder, in which 
he relates his varied experiences in pioneer ministerial work. 
Henry also served in the Wisconsin and Michigan confer- 
ences. Frederick devoted his entire life to service in the 
Wisconsin conference. The two younger brothers, William 
and Anton, served in both the Wisconsin and the Illinois 
conferences, and for some years William was treasurer and 
business manager of Northwestern College at Naperville. 
Anton served for some years as professor in Northwestern 
College, having obtained his doctor's degree in a German 
university. He was the author of two works, one on 
psychology and the other on Christology. All five brothers 
were gifted and fluent pulpit orators. 

Five Zimmermans, from two families of that name, 
took up the gospel work. From one family were two highly 
distinguished brothers, C. F. and J. G. F. Zimmerman, 
better known among their friends in Lomira as Fritz, or 
Friederich, and Gottlieb Zimmerman. The former was 
especially noted for his wit and humor, the latter for his 
intense earnestness, serenity, and piety. Fritz served his 
conference as presiding elder for a number of years until 
he was elected by the general conference editor of the 
Evangelische Magazin, of the Bundesbote, and of German 
Sunday-school literature. Then he became known as a 
great speaker at camp meetings, conventions, and confer- 
ences. He had probably the largest and best library of 
standard German works in the state if not in the country. 


The Evangelical Association on Lomira Circuit 41.5 

Among other noted pioneer ministerial workers from 
Lomira circuit were the two Stegner brothers, the two 
Finger brothers, WilHam Zickerick, Gustav Fritsche, and 
the two Schneiders, who were not related. 

The Ste gner brothers gave their main service to the 
Minnesota conference. William Zickerick (brother of 
Michael Zickerick) served as captain of artillery during 
the Civil War, and was noted to the end of his days for 
his soldierly bearing, spontaneous humor, and generally 
agreeable disposition. He was prominent in G. A. R. circles 
and was well known among the Republican leaders of the 
state. He gave his entire life to faithful service in the 
ministerial field. 

Of the two Finger brothers, the older, Carl, served four 
years as presiding elder. In his later years he left the 
conference and entered the service as minister of the 
Congregational church in another state. August, the 
younger brother, entered the service of the German [Method- 
ist Episcopal ministry of this state. Both were of a dogmatic 
disposition, and strongly swayed by their feelings and 

Gustav Fritsche, brother of John Fritsche, noted above, 
has now given the Wisconsin conference sixty years of 
unbroken, faithful service. Twenty-eight years of this 
time were spent in the capacity of presiding elder. At the 
fifty-second session of the Wisconsin conference lield in 
Forest Junction in 1908 the Saturday evening session was 
devoted to the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary 
of Brother Fritsche's entrance upon the duties of the 
ministry. High tribute was paid to him on that occasion 
by eminent speakers familiar with his career. Since tlien 
he has given nearly nine years more of service and is still 
continuing his active work. His conference lias (ielegatiMl 
him to collect and edit the data for a history of the Wiscon- 
sin conference of the Evangelical Association. 


John S. Roeseler 

It is superfluous to elaborate on the services of W. F, 
Schneider, as treasurer and business manager of the Plain- 
field College and as head bookkeeper and business manager 
of the church publishing house in Cleveland. The services 
of W. H. Horn as editor, bishop, and chief poet of the 
Association are known wherever the Evangelical Association 
is known. He is known not only as the editor of the Evan- 
gelische Magazin und Christliche Botschafter but also as the 
author of Wegebluethen, a book of poems, and as editor of 
many other interesting books to be found in German Evan- 
gelical households. 

In all, thirty-six Evangelical ministers have enlisted 
from Lomira circuit as messengers of Christ, and the cradles 
of some others, who heard the bugle call in other states or 
on other circuits, stood within its confines. Eight of the 
sons of Lomira circuit served their church as presiding 
elders; two as editors; one as the treasurer of the church 
college when at Plainfield, and later as head bookkeeper, 
business manager, and publisher of the church publishing 
house at Cleveland; one as professor at Northwestern College 
at Naperville, and his brother as business manager of the 
same institution; one as captain of artillery in the Twelfth 
Wisconsin Battery in the Civil War; several served as 
conference trustees, general conference delegates, and mem- 
bers of general boards; several are authors of books; and 
lastly, one rendered distinguished services as bishop and 
chief poet of the Association. If the value of one's work 
is to be measured by its fruits, the labors of the pioneer 
founders of Lomira circuit must be given a worthy place 
in the annals of the Evangelical Church. 

Louise P. Kellogg 

When in 1634 Jean Nicolet, agent of Champlain, who 
was the founder of New France and the discoverer of the 
Great Lakes, reached the upper source of the St. Lawrence 
at the foot of Green Bay, his voyage marked the close of a 
great era of exploration. It was twenty years before other- 
white men came to Wisconsin. In that interval conditions 
in the interior of North America had absolutely changed. 
Wisconsin's forests, formerly the quiet haunt of a few 
wandering Winnebago Indians, had by 1652 become a 
refuge for a horde of Indian fugitives — tribes of the Algon- 
quian and Iroquoian families who were fleeing from their 
enemies, the Iroquois of central New York. These latter, 
having obtained firearms from the Dutch traders at Albany, 
turned these remorseles weapons upon the primitive tribes 
of the interior, whom they either exterminated or drove 
off in helpless, terror-stricken flight. 

Of these refugees in Wisconsin two tribes were known to 
the French settlers in Canada. One of these was the Huron, 
which had formerly had its villages southeast of Lake 
Huron, in the present Ontario, Canada. The other was the 
Ottawa, which when first discovered lived on Manitoulin 
and other islands of Georgian Bay. The Iroquois in 1650 
raided the villages of both of these tribes, and killed or 
carried captive most of their inhabitants. A few escaped 
to the woods and pushed westward along the shores of the 
Great Lakes. These frightened fugitives stopped for a 
time on the islands at the mouth of Green Bay; tlicn licariiig 
that the Iroquois were pursuing them tliither, they Hod to 
the mainland. There a raiding expedition of Inxjuois 
overtook them; but the Huron and Ottawa for the once 
defended themselves behind a palisade of trees, and the 
Iroquois, lacking food, were soon forced (o abandon the 


Louise P. Kellogg 

siege. After the departure of their enemy the Huron and 
Ottawa refugees, saved for the once, were in terror at the 
probable return of the Iroquois. They thereupon fled from 
the shore of Green Bay farther into the Wisconsin forests, 
until after many vicissitudes the Huron built a village on 
the headstreams of Black River, and the Ottawa on Lac 
Court Oreilles. Here they dwelt in comparative security 
for several years, the Iroquois having turned their conquer- 
ing arms against other tribes. The Ottawa, somewhat 
recovering from their fear, finally ventured on a trading 
expedition to Montreal for French goods. From their 
village on Lac Court Oreilles, this trading party went by 
waterways to Chequamegon Bay; thence to Sault Ste. 
Marie, along the northern shore of Georgian Bay; up the 
French River to Lake Nipissing, whence a portage was 
made to Ottawa River ; thence their bark canoes glided down 
that stream to their destination. The Ottawa River was 
so named, not because the Ottawa Indians lived thereon, 
but because it was the trade route to their country. Indeed, 
so well known did the Ottawa become as trading Indians, 
that after 1660 all the region of the upper lakes was known 
as the "Ottawa Country." 

In their earlier home in western Ontario both the Ottawa 
and the Huron had been visited by Jesuit missionaries 
who had attempted to induce these Indians to abandon 
their native spirit worship and be baptized into the Chris- 
tian faith. A few among each tribe heeded the teachings 
of the "Black Robes," as the missionaries were called from 
the long black cassocks they customarily wore. When 
the Ottawa, in 1654 and the succeeding years, came to the 
St. Lawrence to trade they were asked to take some Black 
Robes back with them to their country to continue the 
mission. At first they refused, saying that the way was 
long and hard, that every occupant of a canoe must do his 
share of paddling and portaging^ for which the white 

The First Missionary in Wisconsin 419 

missionaries were not fitted. Finally, after much impor- 
tuning by the Jesuit superior they consented. In 1656 two 
missionaries embarked in the returning trade flotilla of the 
Indians from northern Wisconsin. On their upward voyage, 
however, they fell into an ambuscade of the Iroquois; one 
of the missionaries was killed, the other was abandoned by 
the Indians as they sought safety in flight up the Ottawa 

It was four years before another trading fleet could be 
induced to carry any missionaries to the western regions. 
Finally, in 1660 the Ottawa, when preparing for their 
return journey after finishing their trade, consented that a 
Black Robe should accompany them. The choice of the 
Jesuit superior for this difiicult mission fell upon Father 
Rene Menard. Father Menard was then a man of fifty-five 
years of age, of a delicate constitution, worn by long years 
of service in the western wilderness. Twenty years before, 
he had come to Canada, where he had taught in the Huron 
mission before it was destroyed by the Iroquois. He could 
speak both the Ottawa and the Huron languages; indeed 
he was credited with the ability to use six Indian dialects. 
When the opportunity came for him to adventure with the 
Ottawa to their northern home he eagerly accepted it, 
although he realized that it was in effect a death sentence. 
The night before he left Canada he wrote to a friend: *Tn 
three or four months you may include me in the Momento 
for the dead, in view of the kind of life led by these peoples, 
of my age, and of my delicate constitution. In spite of that, 
I have felt such powerful promptings and have seen in this 
affair so little of the purely natural, that I could not dinibt 
if I failed to respond to this opportunity that I should 
experience an endless remorse." On his way up tlie St. 
Lawrence to Montreal he met the bishop of Canada, who 
said to him, "My Father, every reason scorns to retain you 
here; but God, more powerful than aught else, requires 


Louise P, Kellogg 

you yonder." Over and over again in the midst of his 
hardships, sufferings, and desolation in the far interior of 
North America these words, "God requires you yonder," 
supported his soul. 

The Indian traders who had promised the French of 
Canada to care for Father Menard quickly broke their word. 
On the journey along the Ottawa River they loaded him with 
heavy packages at the portages and laughed at him when 
he sank beneath their burden. They forced him to paddle 
constantly, and to disembark in the roughest places. In 
scrambling over rocks he cut his feet; when he afterwards 
was compelled to leap into the water to lighten the load, one 
of his wounded feet became swollen and intensely painful. 
Food was scarce ; and the Father was allotted the worst and 
the smallest share. He was separated from the French 
traders who might have aided him, and from his own 
companion or donne who had volunteered to accompany 
him. All these afflictions the patient missionary bore as 
the will of God for his chastening. At last Lake Superior 
was reached, when a worse accident befell the poor traveler. 
As they were resting on the beach, the canoe in which he 
and three Indians were traveling was broken by a falling 
tree. Many of the other canoes of the trading flotilla had 
passed on. None of the belated canoes would stop for the 
stranded unfortunates. For six days they existed by 
pounding bones and eating offal to sustain life. At last some 
passers-by took pity on them and carried them on to where 
a party of the Ottawa were planning to winter at the foot of 
Keweenaw Bay. They arrived there the fifteenth of October, 
whereupon Menard named the bay for Ste. Therese, whose 
fete day it was. 

Menard had been instructed to establish his mission at 
the Ottawa village on Lac Court Oreilles, but during the 
summer of 1660, while the trading party was absent, the 
Ottawa had begun to abandon that location for a more 

The First Missionary in Wisconsin 421 

convenient one on Chequamegon Bay. Menard, who had 
been detained by the accident to his canoe, was unable to 
reach the principal village at this latter place, and was 
compelled to pass the winter with the small group who 
remained at Keweenaw Bay. The chief of this village was 
named le Brochet (in English, The Pike) . He was a surly 
brute, "proud and extremely vicious, possessing four or 
five wives." When Menard, following the promptings of 
his conscience, reproved the chief for his polygamy, that 
dignitary turned the missionary out of his wigwam in the 
midst of a Lake Superior winter, with no other shelter than 
a poor hut he made for himself of the branches of a fir tree. 
Fortunately for Father Menard, the winter was unusually 
mild; the bay did not freeze over until the middle of Feb- 
ruary; and the wine for the mass did not congeal in the 
Father's hut from November to the following March. ^ 

In the latter month the French traders who had wintered 
at Chequamegon came to Keweenaw to seek Father Menard. 
They carried him back with them in their canoes, going 
across Keweenaw Point by way of Portage River and Lake, 
spending five days in skirting the Lake Superior shore. 
At Chequamegon Menard found a great concourse of 
Indians, refugees of several tribes from the interior of 
Wisconsin. 2 Among these tribesmen Menard worked with 
ardor. On Ascension Day (May 23 in 1601) a Huron came 
from the Black River village reporting that his people were 
dying with hunger. This news roused Father Menard's 
compassion ; he determined that it was his duty to go thither 
and baptize all the heathen he could before their death, 

1 The description of the suflFerings cand hardships of Father Menard during tlio winter 
of 1660-61 is taken from his letters written to the Superior in Canada. A brief synopsis 
of these letters is in Wis. Hist. Colls., XVI, 21-22; the originals may he found m U. G. 
Thwaites, Jesiiit Relations (Cleveland, 1806-1903), XLVI, 127-4.). . 

2 This article takes issue with previous studios of the carwr of Menard at this point. 
Earlier students appear not to have remarked the change of residence in the spring of 1 ('»('» 1 . 
M6nard's own letter, it seems to the jircscnt writer, plainly descriUes the journey from 
Ste. Therese Bay to Chequamegon Bay. If ho started ow his last journey from the Utter 
place, the route must inevitably have been the one herein describcil. 

Louise P. Kellogg 

thus assuring their entrance to Paradise. Three French 
traders were about going inland with the Huron messenger; 
by them the missionary sent a present and a message to 
the Huron chief requesting permission to visit his village. 
The traders had a difficult journey; they took the usual 
canoe route from Chequamegon Bay to Lac Court Oreilles — 
up White River to Long Lake, portaging from there to the 
Namekagon, down that stream to a point opposite Bass 
Lake, thence to Grindstone Lake and Lac Court Oreilles.^ 
From there to reach the Huron village they must have gone 
down the outlet to the Chippewa River, down the latter 
to some stream coming from the east, probably the Jump 
or Yellow River, both of which head near the sources of the 
Black. On arrival at the village the traders found the Hu- 
ron in a famishing condition, so weak they could scarcely 
stand or lift their hands. Their corn harvest was some 
months off. The white men offered what relief they could, 
but thought it useless to deliver Menard's message, since 
how could an old man, feeble and broken in health, under- 
take a journey through the wilderness. They themselves, 
over two weeks on their return route, arrived at Chequame- 
gon Bay after Menard had sent to his superior what proved 
to be the last letter he ever wrote. ^ 

Menard was determined to visit his Huron neophytes. 
In vain did the Frenchmen attempt to dissuade him from 
his purpose. "God calls me thither and I must go, although 
it should cost me my life," he reiterated. Finally, on July 
13, he started, carrying for provisions some smoked meat 
and a bag of dried sturgeon. One of the traders volun- 
teered to accompany him. Some Huron who had come 

^ Information on the canoe route from Chequamegon Bay to Lac Court Oreilles was 
received in 1919 from Frank Setter of Hayward, Wisconsin. 

4 The letter in Jesuit Relations, XL VI, 145, is dated "This 2nd of June, 1661. From 
nostre Dame de bon Secours, called Chassahamigon." The Huron messenger arrived 
May 23 and the traders went inland with him the last of the month; Menard says he had 
been awaiting their return for fifteen days — thus the letter must have been completed 
after June second; probably for June should be read July 2, 1661. 

The First Missionary in Wisconsin 423 

to trade offered to serve as guides. The little party took 
the land trail to Lac Court Oreilles; probably this ran up 
the west bank of Bad River to where Mellen now stands; 
then south by east to the site of Glidden; along the Chip- 
pewa to a point east of the present Reserve; thence to the 
lake.^ The Huron guides, weak for lack of food and dissatisfied 
with the slow progress of the old man through the heavy 
forests, soon deserted him, promising to send some young, 
Huron to Lac Court Oreilles to guide the missionary to 
their village. Either they never intended to do this or no 
one in the village would volunteer. Certain it is that no 
guides came; the Black Robe and his companion, after 
waiting two weeks, found their small store of provisions 
dwindling rapidly. They had the fortune to find an Indian 
canoe hid in the bushes by the lakeside. Into this they 
stepped and entrusted their lives to the rushing waters of 
the lake outlet. As they entered the Chippewa the river 
grew swifter and swifter. Menard's companion had some 
skill in paddling, and guided the tiny craft in safety to 
the mouth of the stream by which the ascent was to be 
made to the Huron village. This river the trader recognized 
from his voyage of a month before ; up this eastern tributary 
of the Chippewa he turned the prow of his little craft.'' 
Which of the streams that lead toward the headwaters of 
the Black it may have been, we cannot at this late day 
determine. In all probability it was the present Jump 
River; but it may have been the Yellow River of Taylor 
County.^ Both streams are full of rapids in one of which 

5 For information on the land route now in use between CheqiiameRon Bay and Lac 
Court Oreilles the writer is indebted to Henry La Rush, Reserve, Wisconsin. Sec H'j,*. 
Mag. of Hist., Ill, 150. 

® Perrot, who heard the story of Menard's death within five years after it occurred, 
says he was ascending a river when lost. See E. IL Blair, Indian Tribes of the Vpi>cr 
Mississippi and Region of the Great Lakes (Cleveland, 1911). L 

^In a manuscript map of the Great Lakes now in Harvard University, formerly 
belonging to Francis Parkman (known as Parknian No. .'0. a cross shows the site of 
Father Menard's death, directly south of a small lake , seemingly intended for l^c Court 
Oreilles. A reproduction of this map is in Justin Winsor, Narrative and Criiical History 
of America (Boston, 1884), IV, 215. 


Louise P. Kellogg 

the canoe was caught and nearly driven down stream. 
Menard, to Hghten his companion's labors, considerately- 
stepped ashore, while the trader bent all his strength to 
breast the rough water of the rapid. Safely up in quiet 
water he waited for the missionary, who was not in sight. 
After waiting some time the Frenchman became alarmed 
and fired his fusee to guide the Black Robe to the canoe. 
After five shots, and much hallooing, the trader in his turn 
became frightened at the menace of the forest, where every 
step involved him in a tangle of trees and bushes. Help 
must be had to find the lost missionary; the Huron village 
was close at hand; thither the trader hastened, only in his 
turn to become lost in- the intricacies of the forest, so that 
it was the second day before he finally arrived among the 
Huron. There the wayfarer could communicate with the 
Indians only by signs ; in that manner he managed to convey 
to them the loss of the missionary in the forest, bribing them 
by promises of a reward to go in search of him. One Huron 
finally agreed to go to the Black Robe's rescue ; but after a 
brief absence he rushed back to the village with a false alarm of 
the approach of a hostile band. "At this cry the pity felt 
for the Father vanished, as well as the inclination to go to 
search for him." In vain his companion besought the 
savages and bribed them to undertake the rescue; the 
Huron were obdurate in their refusal to search for the miss- 
ing missionary. 

Days passed and no news of the Black Robe came from 
the silent forest. The French trader went back to Che- 
quamegon and reported the loss. A son of le Brochet carried 
the news to Quebec. Once a report was current that some 
of Menard's effects had been found in a cabin of western 
Indians; this rumor was never substantiated; when taxed 
with his murder, the savages denied it; had they been 
guilty they would probably have boasted of the deed. The 
more probable supposition is that Menard died in the forest 

The First Missionary in Wisconsin 


where he was lost — those dense pineries where the Hght of 
the sun could scarcely penetrate. Seeking for the head 
of the rapid, he became confused through a wrong turn, and 
had probably gone out of hearing before his comrade fired 
his fusee. His strength was slight, and he had with him as 
food only a small piece of dried meat. It is to be hoped 
that his end was peaceful, and that he died consoled by the 
vision of the crown of martyrdom which he had sought 
when coming West. 

Father Menard's associates in New France bewailed his 
loss and extolled his virtues. One of the fruits of his mission 
was his whilom host, le Brochet, who after imprisonment at 
Montreal for his cruelty to the Black Robe, became a firm 
friend of the French. 

Thus perished in the heart of our northern forest the 
first missionary to the Indians of Wisconsin. The exact site 
of his martyrdom will probably never be known. Whatever 
we of these days may think of his prudence or of his theology, 
we can but admire his heroism and his devotion to duty. 
He was the forerunner of a noble band that counted not 
their lives dear unto themselves, if by any means they 
might save some. Father Menard's fame belongs to our 
permanent history, and to all those who admire unswerving 
devotion to duty even unto death. 


W. A. Titus 

About six miles southeast of Fond du Lac in the town of 
Empire is situated the somewhat neglected burial place known 
as Empire Cemetery. A casual survey of the moss-covered 
tombstones almost suggests a directory of the population of half 
a century ago for the towns of Eden and Empire. A once thriving 
Methodist church, long since abandoned, still stands adjacent 
to the cemetery, but everything about the property suggests 
age and decay. 

From among the hundreds who sleep in the enclosure two 
names have been selected for this sketch because of the historical 
interest that attaches to their careers and the coincidence that 
brought them together in their last resting place. The one, 
a Scotch Highlander, was a soldier under Wellington throughout 
the Peninsular Campaign in Spain and Portugal against Napoleon 
Bonaparte, and he followed his chief to the final scene at Water- 
loo. The other was a native of Alsace, a German by birth, but 
a resident of French territory who was forced into the army of 
Napoleon and fought through the campaign in Spain and Portugal 
as a French soldier until he was taken prisoner by the English 
forces. Both these men were born in the same year; and long 
afterward both came to America and located on farms a few 
miles southeast of Fond du Lac where they became neighbors and 
friends. Through surviving relatives the writer has been able 
to gather material for the following sketches of the lives of 
these two men whom destiny decreed should first be foemen in a 
foreign world conflict, and then neighbors in pioneer days in an 
undeveloped section of Wisconsin where they saw the territory 
develop into the nucleus of a great state. 

William Stewart was born in the Highlands of Scotland in 
Perthshire near Loch Rannock, August 12, 1790. He enlisted in 
the English army at an early age and served under the British 
colors for fourteen years. He went through the campaign in 

Two Graves in a Rural Wisconsin Cemetery 427 

Spain under the Duke of Wellington and participated in the 
battle of Waterloo where he was severely wounded by a bullet 
in the leg. About 1820 he was sent to Canada with a detachment 
of British troops; and when his term of enlistment expired some 
time later, he came to the United States, enlisted in the regular 
army, and was sent to Green Bay in 1827 as a soldier of the 
Fort Howard garrison, where he remained in the military service 
for eight years. Stewart had married in 1829, and because of 
the opposition of his wife he declined a captaincy in the army 
that was sent to Florida during the Seminole War and decided to 
remain at Fort Howard. After leaving the army, he was deputy 
sheriff of Brown County until 1840 when he removed to Fond du 
Lac County where he engaged in farming for many years. Those 
who remember William Stewart in his last years call to mind 
a tall, erect, quick-stepping man with snowy hair and a pleasant 
face. He died on February 26, 1879 and was buried in Empire 
Cemetery beside his wife, who had passed away ten years earlier. 
A granddaughter, Mrs. S. Denniston, still lives in Fond du Lac, 
and it is to her that I am indebted for much of this story. The 
following recollections of Mr. Stewart were dictated by himself 
some years before his death : 

I was born at Perth on Tyne, Scotland, on the twelfth of 
August, 1790. Went to Dundee and clerked when a lad for my 
uncle who kept a large dry goods store in that city. In the year 
1809, being then nineteen years of age, I went as a volunteer to 
join the Seventy-first Scotch Highland regiment of light infantry 
then in Portugal, and a part of what was called the Peninsular 
army under the command of Sir Arthur Wellesley, afterward 
better known by the name of the Duke of Wellington. I was 
present at many of the battles fought against the French. Among 
them I remember Talavera, Merida, Salamanca, Ciudad Rod- 
rigo. I was one of the forlorn party which, with ladders, scaled 
the walls of the latter place and took it. This was in 181-2 and 
WeHington received from the Spanish government the title of 
Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo as a reward of success. I also fought 
at Almoraz, at Arroia del Molines, at Molino del Rev, and at 
Vittoria on the twenty-first of June, 181:5. This was a fearful 


W. A. Titus 

battle in which the French were defeated with great loss, and 
Joseph Bonaparte, king of Spain and brother of the first Napo- 
leon, was compelled in consequence to leave Spain with all that 
was left of his French army. At that battle a French soldier and 
myself ran each other through the body with our bayonets, both 
falling together. When found the Frenchman was dead and I 
was taken care of and recovered in time to be present at the 
passage of the Bidassoa which divided Spain from France. We 
passed Bayonne, fighting ten battles in nine days. The battle of 
Toulouse was fought on April 10, 1814, which was Easter Sunday. 
Peace had already been signed. Napoleon having abdicated and 
been sent to Elba Island; a fact which our troops did not know, 
but of which Marshal Soult was aware at the time. We finally 
came to Bordeaux where we were supplied with new clothing of 
which we stood in much need, as our uniforms were literally rags. 
I was wounded five times during the Peninsular War, and at the 
battle of Waterloo I received a bullet in my left ankle. The day 
before the Battle of Waterloo we were forty-eight miles from the 
field of action with our brigade, composed of three regiments 
under the command of Sir Frederick Adams. We were at Quatre- 
bras on Saturday, the seventeenth, when an aid-de-camp rode up 
just before sunrise and handed in a dispatch, and we marched 
that day the forty-eight miles, arriving on the field of battle 
in the evening. While preparing our supper a shot struck among 
us, taking away the pot in which we were boiling our beef but 
hurting no one, only robbing us of the main part of our supper 
which was some disappointment to us, tired and hungry as we 
were. The battle of Waterloo was fought the next day, Sunday, 
July 18, 1815. The Prussian general, Bliicher, had promised to 
come up early, but did not arrive until nearly five o'clock in the 
afternoon when we were all cut up by the French. After the 
battle we marched into France and visited Paris. We were 
quartered in France until October, 1818, when my regiment 
returned to England and was soon thereafter sent to Canada. 

Having left the British service when my term of enlistment 
expired, I came to the state of New York and enlisted in the 
American service at Bedloe Island. While there Winfield Scott 
came to inspect us, about four hundred enlisted men. I happened 

Two Graves in a Rural Wisconsin Cemetery 


to be the first man on the right of the line. Scott looked at me 
very closely and said to me: "How long have you been a soldier, 
my man?" "Three days, General," said I. He just turned around 
and laughed and said, "Can you tell me that you were never a 
soldier before?" "Oh no. General," I replied, "I have served a 
number of years in the British army." "I knew it as soon as I 
set eyes upon you," said he. He then asked me in what regiment 
I had served and who was the colonel of my regiment and the 
captain of my company. I told him. He said that he knew' 
them both personally, having met them in Paris after the battle 
of Waterloo. We were sent to Fort Howard in 1827. There 
was not a house in Milwaukee for several years after I came to 

The following story of John Air hart, who served under 
Marshal Soult in the armies of Napoleon Bonaparte, was con- 
tributed by his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Mary Airhart, who still 
lives on the old homestead in Fond du Lac County. 

John Ehrhardt (later known as John Airhart) was born in 
Alsace, France, July 24, 1790, and was the son of Christian and 
Magdalene Ehrhardt. He was drafted into Napoleon's army in 
1806, when only sixteen years old, and never again had an 
opportunity to see his relatives. He served through the German 
and Spanish campaigns, probably without any degree of enthu- 
siasm, because he was of German parentage though born in that 
troubled province that has never been sure of its permanent 
political allegiance. Mr. Ehrhardt was captured by the English 
forces and held prisoner in Makga for six months. Seeing an 
opportunity to exchange one master for another only a little less 
objectionable, he enlisted in the British army, served three years 
with the garrison on the island of Malta, and in 1812 upon tlie 
outbreak of hostilities between Great Britain and the I'nited 
States was sent to Canada with the British forces to take jiart in 
the conflict. When the British army invaded Now York. Mr. 
Ehrhardt saw his first opportunity to break away from liis latest 
masters, which he did by deserting at Tlattsbiirg and taking up 
his permanent residence in the United States. Tliat t lie American 
oflScials doubted his motives is shown by the following i>ass: 


W. A, Titus 

No. 68, John Airhart, A British deserter, has liberty to pass unmolested 
into the interior at any place south of White Hall. If found on the 
frontier of any part of the United States, he will be considered a 

Plattsburgh, New York, \ In'p'r's Ajt. 

Sept. 15th, 1814. ) 

The change in the spelling of the family name occurred at 
this time. When Mr. Ehrhardt gave his name to the American 
clerk, it was spelled phonetically in the pass and became Airhart. 
Later, when he took out his natural zation papers, he found that 
he could avoid a lot of government red tape by adopting the 
name as it was written in his pass, and this finally fixed his 
American name as Airhart. He married in 1816 in New York 
where he remained for a number of years. In June, 1848 he came 
to Wisconsin with his family and settled on three hundred twenty 
acres of land in the township of Osceola about fourteen miles 
southeast of Fond du Lac where he died in 1880. Before his death, 
he had constructed in Empire Cemetery a vault to rece ve the 
remains of his wife and himself. The Airhart homestead, now 
reduced to two hundred acres, is still in the possession of the 



Columbus, Ky. 25th Wis. Co. G. 

May 30th, 1863. 

Dear Folks at Home : 

The final order came tonight after we had gone to bed, to be ' 
ready to go to Vicksburg by boat in the morning. There was a 
lot of skurrying around all the long night. Clothes at the washer- 
woman's had to be looked after. Letters had to be written as I am 
writing this by the dull light of a tallow candle, some to wives, 
some to mothers, fathers, and many to sweethearts. I hope there 
were no unhappy girls because of this sudden leaving near about 
Columbus. But I fear there was a few. I am quite sure of two or 
three. Well, I am content if we must leave Columbus even if it 
has been a sort of "Old Kentucky Home" to us for nearly two 
months. It is one o'clock in the morning and the lights are yet 
burning in the tents. In a lot of the tents they are singing the 
"Old Kentucky Home." I guess the boys don't think much of its 
meaning but sing it because we are in Old Kentucky. A lot of 
colored women are running about the tents collecting washing 
bills. They all seem to know that we are to leave in the morning. 
There will be a lot of unpaid washing bills, but the darkies 
won't mind it much as they are used to working for notliing. 

Max Brill, my bunk mate, has finally shut his mouth, so has 
Delos Allen and John LeGore, my other tent mates, leaving me to 
blow out the light and go to sleep. Will finish letter and mail it 
in the morning. 

May 31st. When we woke up this morning we found a groat 
big New Orleans side-wheel packet lying at the wharf waiting to 
take us on board. The roll call found many of us still asleep after 
such a night. Many of the boys fell in for roll call in nothing but 
shirts and drawers. I got on all but my pants and shoes. About 
half the company was in the same plight. The orderly was so 
good natured we gave him a good long cheer and ran back to our 
tents to finish dressing. The town was crowded with country 



people, mostly colored folks, to see us leave. The grand inarch 
to the boat began at ten o'clock and it was near three p. m. when 
we were all packed away on the three decks. Our company was on 
the hurricane deck. When the black deck hands loosened the four 
inch cable that tied our ship to the shore, the Regimental band 
began to play Dixie. The big boat floated out into the current, 
the big propelling wheels turned round and round in the muddy 
waters, and looking back at the big high bluff which had been our 
home so long we did not know whether to be glad or sorry that we 
were leaving it. 

There were hundreds to wave us goodbye, yes thousands. 
There were loud cheers and good wishes from the regiments we 
left behind. The blacks were afraid to come out in the open to 
show their good feeling but down by the river bank and from be- 
hind houses and fences where they could not be seen by the whites, 
they threw up their caps and hats and danced like crazy. The 
women caught their skirts with both hands and bowed and cour- 
tesied and some dropped upon their knees and held their hands 
above their head as if they were praying. The boys didn't seem 
to notice it much because they were niggers, but it made me think 
of some things in XJncle Toms Cabin. I take one last look at 
Columbus and the fort on the bluff with the big black cannon 
peering out over the river. We make a bend in the river and Co- 
lumbus is hidden from view. 

A lot of boys are gathered on the forecastle singing " My Old 
Kentucky Home." I suspicion the fellows have a homesick streak 
on, they sing with so much feeling. Hickman is in sight but four 
miles away. I must close this line in order to mail it there. Those 
lines of Charles .McKay I have heard father quote so often come 
to mind, "Groaning, steaming, panting, down the Mississippi." 

Your son, 


Haines Bluff, June 8, 1863. 

25th Wis. Vol. 

Dear Father and Mother : I've seen some tough hours 
the last three days, but am feeling pretty well at this writing. 
Every night the last three or four nights we have been laying on 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


our arms, expecting the bugle call to fall in for battle. The nights 
are hot and sultry and we lay with nothing but the sky for cover- 
ing. You know how warm it is in Wisconsin in June but O, Lord, 
it is nothing to Mississippi. Corn with you is about six inches 
high. Here it is four feet higher than a man's head. I never saw 
such big corn. While we lay at Satartia the boys went wild raid- 
ing and foraging the country for anything they could eat or wear 
or destroy, and it was all right, for every white man and woman 
was ready to shoot or poison us. The negroes were our only 
friends, and they kept us posted on what the whites were doing 
and saying. Their masters told their slaves that the Yankees had 
horns, that they eat nigger babies, and that they lived in the 
North in houses built of snow and ice,and that the Yankee soldiers 
were fighting to take the niggers back north where they would 
freeze to death. It is a fright what stories the whites tell their 
slaves. The younger ones know better and laugh when they speak 
of it, but some of the real black ones just from Africa look nervous 
and scared when the boys crowd around them to tease and play 
tricks on them. They seem to know what the boys want. They 
bring in chickens, turkeys, eggs, molasses, sugar corn pones, 
smoked meat, and honey. The boys don't treat them right. They 
cheat them out of a lot and their excuse is they stole the stuff from 
their white masters. The poor black creatures never get mad but 
just smile and say nothing. 

The day before we left Satartia some of our boys raided a big 
plantation, took everything in sight, and came into camp with a 
mule team and wagon loaded with a fancy piano. They put the 
piano on board a steamboat and blindfolding the mules, which 
were wild, turned them loose in camp. It was a crazy thing to do. 
There was some bee hives in the wagon full of honey and bees. 
The mules ran over some tents nearly killing a lot of soldiers and 
scattering bees and boxes along the way. It was fun all right for 
some of the boys got badly stung. 

June 8th. — We have been resting on our arms all day await ing 
a report from couriers who are watching the rebel General Johnston. 
He has a big force and his plan seems to be to cut off our march 
to Haines Bluff where we would be in touch with the main Union 
army. In the afternoon we were ordered in lino as were all the 



regiments of the three brigades. We were told the rebel army was 
moving our way and to be prepared at any moment. 

June 9th. — We lay upon our arms all night. It was not a good 
night to sleep. We expected every hour an order to fall in and 
retreat to Haines Bluff. It came at daybreak. We had scarcely 
time to make coffee and fry hard-tack. Mounted orderlies with 
clanging sabers were rushing about with orders from headquarters. 
They would spring from their saddles leaving their horse in charge 
of a black servant, who always met them hat in hand at the Col- 
onel's tent. Since daybreak there has been a fearful booming of 
cannons toward the south. All sorts of rumors are flying about. 
One is that Johnston has jumped in on our flank at Snyder's Bluff 
with his army and another report is that Grant has stormed the 
city of Vicksburg under cover of all his big guns. 

If nothing happens will write in a day or two. 

Your son, 


Haines Bluff, Mississippi. 
Hd. Quarters 25 Wis., June 11, 1863. 

Dear Sister: 

Am in receipt of your last letter but an hour ago. You do 
write a good letter. So full of news, just the stuff for a brother in 
the war to read, and you tell things in such a good way. It's just 
like a story in a book. You are father's girl all over just as mother 
has often said. How I wish I could have some of the fish you tell 
of catching, only I don't like the fellow that took you home that 
time. He is nice looking and knows how to say pleasant things, 
but he is what our chaplain calls a roue. Look in the dictionary 
and see what roue means. I don't want my sister to keep com- 
pany with a roue, if I understand the word. Let me tell you, my 
dear girl, most young men ain't as good as they ought to be. And 
I wish you would be more careful and mind me a little if you are 
older than I. But I must tell you of things here. 

We had a dreadful march from Satartia to reach this place. 
It was a killing march. Our Division General was a coward, and 
the march began at sunrise and ended at ten o'clock that night. 
It was a retreat, a perfect rout. The rebel Johnston was supposed 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


to be close in our rear with a body of Cavalry and the orders were 
to press forward with all possible speed. Through great forests 
and cornfields without end standing above our heads, in the hot- 
test sun I ever felt, the army became a regular mob, every man for 
himself. Men threw aside their coats and blankets, their testa- 
ments and their shirts. Hundreds lay down in the corn rows, under 
the trees, and on the banks of the creeks, many of them in the faint 
of a sunstroke, others fanning themselves or cursing those in com- 
mand. The constant roar of besieging mortar and cannon at' 
Vicksburg grew louder and louder as we advanced. The ambu- 
lances and the ammunition and supply wagons that followed were 
full of men unable to march, long before night. You know that 
father always said I was mother's boy because I never was tired 
or never sick till I went into the army. It was about 4 o'clock in 
the afternoon, I had lost sight of every man of Company G, and 
was marching with a bunch of Indiana boys. I had divided the 
water with them I had in my canteen. I had thrown away a 
woollen shirt, and torn my blanket in two and left a part of that 
to lighten my load. My cartridge box was the heaviest thing we 
had, every man was loaded with all the bullets he could carry, for 
we expected to need them. I was just about fainting with the heat 
when one of the Indiana boys said, "My boy you better lay down, 
your face is awful red." We were on the bank of a muddy creek. 
I walked away from the road up among the trees and after taking 
a drink from the creek I lay down in the shade of a tree with no 
one in sight and fell asleep. 

When I opened my eyes the sun was down and it was just 
getting dark. For a minute I didn't know where I was nor wliat 
had happened. Then the march and the mix-up of the day all 
came back to me. Here and there I could see through the woods 
the light of the camp fires. I went back to the road where I k^ft 
my Indiana friends five hours before. I sat down while a battery 
of six guns went by, each drawn by six big horses. Then followed 
a rear guard of five or six hundred cavalry whose sivbers i\ud axr- 
bines clanged as they rode by. I knew if Johnston was so near, 
these cannon and cavalry would not be passing toward Vicksburg 
in this peaceful way. A straggling group of infantry followed t.h<^ 
cavalry and I joined them. I had gone but a few steps when 1 felt 



a hand upon my shoulder. Turning to see who it was, what was 
my delight to see the Captain of my company. Captain Dorwin, 
smiling upon me. Like myself he, too, was lost from the company. 
The Captain had never looked so good to me. He had lain down 
by the road like me, overcome by heat, and he was anxious to find 
the company. Until I found Captain Dorwin I was ashamed to 
think that maybe I was the only one lost from the company. The 
Captain is a great big strong man and nice looking. And when I 
found the heat had played him out just as it had me, I took cour- 
age. After calling at about a hundred camp fires and half as many 
regiments we found our company and our regiment. If there is a 
just God he will punish the man that ordered that awful march. 
It was useless and uncalled for. We hear that the General has 
been arrested and will be tried by Court Marshal. Every soldier 
on that horrid march hopes he will be punished.^ 

The air is sickening with the stench of decaying flesh. Miss- 
issippi is full of cattle running wild in the cane brakes, and the 
boys are shooting great, beautiful steers as they would rabbits, 
leaving everything but the choicest parts on the ground to smell 
and stink. Ten miles from here the people in Vicksburg are starv- 
ing for beef to eat and where we are camped the air is poisoned with 
the decaying flesh of animals more then we can eat. What a world 
this is. I am only giving you a brief sketch of the important 
things. Just think of the horror of 50,000 people with half enough 
to eat, with no rest nor sleep, stormed at with shot and shell, 
night and day, in the city of Vicksburg. They have dug holes 
under their houses and in the bluffs and on the river side to get 
away from the shot and bursting shell of Union guns. They can't 
get anything more to eat outside the city so they eat horses and 
mules to keep alive. O, but the poor wretched whites that let the 
rich slaveholders drag them into this war. The negroes tell us 

1 The march here so feelingly described was far more fatal in its consequences to the 
regiment than any battle in which it was engaged during the war. Toward the end of 
JiJy the regiment moved up the river to Helena, where for a long time it was practically 
prostrated by disease. Thus on August 16 the daily report showed but ninety men fit 
for duty. This condition is attributed by Quiner {Military History of Wisconsin, 736) 
to the "hardships of the recent rapid march from Satartia to Snyder's Bluff," to which 
was added the influence of the unhealthy location of the camp at the latter place. The 
table of Wisconsin regimental losses in the war significantly concludes the story; "The 
Twenty-fifth Regiment had 376 men die of disease, a far larger number than any other 
Wisconsin regiment suffered." 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


the rich white man in the South looks down on the poor white 
trash who has no slaves, as much as he does on the black man. 
And the common soldier in the rebel army is awful ignorant. 
There ain't one in ten that can read or write, and they think the 
Dutch boys in our army were hired in Germany and came over 
just to fight them. 

I have just been notified by the Orderly Sergeant that I am to 
go on picket duty to-morrow and to put my gun in order. The 
reports that we get every hour from the pickets, that men are 
being shot, remind us that we are not in sleepy old Columbus, 
Kentucky, any more, where we could go to sleep without danger, 
except from the officer of the guard. I'll let you know in a few 
days how nice it is to do picket duty in the cane brakes of Missis- 
sippi within gun shot of the enemy's line. I haven't the least fear 
of danger, sister, and I am feeling real good after a two days' rest 
of racket and roar of big guns that put me to sleep nights and 
waken me in the morning. There is an army of some 15,000 men 
around us and between here and Vicksburg. Love to all, father, 
mother, and the boys. 

P. S. — There is a rumor at this moment that we are to counter 
march for Satartia to-morrow. I'll bet it is a false rumor. 

Your brother, 


Haines Bluff, Mississippi. 

June 15, 1863. 

Dear Father: 

I sent sister D. a letter some days ago and promised to toll her 
something of picket duty close to the enemy's line next time I 
wrote. I made some notes in my memorandum every evening so 
I enclose them. 

June 10th, 6 o'clock p. m. Have just come in from the picket 
line where I have been for four hours during the day, from ten to 
twelve this morning and from four to six this afternoon. ^^ ill ixo 
on again tonight at 10 o'clock for two hours and again at four 
o'clock in the morning until six. 

It has been a blistering hot day, but I have kept in the slmde 
of some great trees most of the time. My beat is about, as far a^' 



from the house to the creek, on a ridge, something like the little 
hill behind the house. The soldier whose place I took this morn- 
ing, belonged to the Jersey Zouaves, told me it would be nice dur- 
ing daylight, but to look out to-night. He said he had seen the 
glint of a gun barrel last night in the edge of the cane brake. He 
advised me to keep my eyes peeled and stay as much as possible 
in the shadow of the trees. I asked him how I could do that and 
obey orders to keep pacing his beat. He said I don't give a damn 
for orders when I am alone here at midnight, and the officer of the 
guard asleep in his tent miles from here. One thing he said, you 
will hear a lot of hogs grunting in the cane brakes. Maybe they 
are hogs and maybe they ain't. Some of the boys have been shot 
by those hogs so look out. These Jersey Zouaves are supposed to 
be dare-devils, simply afraid of nothing. They wear fancy uni- 
forms covered with yellow braid and all sorts of yellow stripes. 
The rebel soldiers hate these Zouaves and try to shoot them wher- 
ever they can. They are toughs picked up from the prisons and 
jails of the cities. Nothing happened worth mentioning during 
the day. From my beat I could see the Yazoo River and miles of 
cornfields on the west now tramped down and ruined. On the east 
where the enemy line extends are deep forests and dense cane 
brakes. All day long hundreds of men, yes thousands, were chop- 
ping down the trees, felling them toward the enemy, and sharpen- 
ing the limbs so that they would be hindered and at the mercy of 
our guns if they tried to charge our lines. 

Columns of smoke from burning buildings fill the sky, and 
this afternoon a south wind brought the smell of smoke from the 
big cannon that keep up their awful roar about Vicksburg. 

June 12th, 9 o'clock a. m. After a rather wakeful night we 
are back to quarters in camp and while waiting for coffee to boil 
will jot down a note or two. The air about the camp smells better 
this morning. Several hundred carcasses of cattle left to rot in 
the sun were buried yesterday. The smell had got to be terrible. 
I remembered what the Zouave told me when I went on guard 
last night and I kept my eyes wide open, and my ears too, during 
the two hours of midnight. I heard some rustling in the cane 
thicket on my left but the sound seemed to recede rather than 
come nearer so I concluded it was some animal. I don't think I 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


was afraid the least bit, until midnight the boom of cannons at 
Vicksburg and the half circling fiery curves of the shells and the 
sudden lighting of the sky when they burst gave me something to 
see and to think of. From four till six this morning the firing at 
Vicksburg had nearly ceased. 

June 14th. A letter of May 23rd from home to-day. I am 
glad as ever a boy could be, who is in love with his home. I had 
wondered why no letter came. I wish father had sent me some 
stamps. Money won't buy them here. They seem to forget my' 
request for stamps. Saw D. D. Loomis yesterday, of the Second 
Cavalry. Sam, as they call him, is in good health and spirits. He 
is a sort of an assistant to the Commissary, looking after the horses 
and rations. The 8th Wis. too, is here. It still carries the Eagle.^ 
The order for our return to Satartia up the Yazoo has been recalled. 
I am glad. The fact is, too many of our Regiment were beat out 
on the march here. There are nearly 300 men under the doctor's 
care as a result of that 35 mile march. If the water was good we 
would be happy. Blackberries are plenty and nice. Our Regi- 
ment went out last night three miles to support a battery planted 
on a ridge. We lay on our arms all night without being disturbed 
by the rebs. This place will be retaken by the rebels if possible. 
Every precaution is being taken to secure it against attack. John- 
ston and Bragg are on their way here with an army to drive us 
out, but Old Rose, that is Rosecrans, is following them and we 
ain't afraid. How many troops we have here, I don't know, but 
somewhere between twenty and forty thousand. To drive us from 
here will cost the rebs a good lot of blood, and the}^ know it. Tliis 
is an easy country to fortify, just about as hilly as Buffalo County 
and the sides of the hills ten times harder to scale, because of the 
timber we have fallen against the enemy and dense jungle of cane- 
brakes. It's nearly impossible to get through a Mississippi cane- 
brake. Here is where our fish poles come from. 

There has been a lull in the firing at Vicksburg. There is a 
rumor that the Confeds have made a breacli and are ret roat iiig up 
the Black River. Another story is that Jeff D^ivis is inside the 
City and Pemberton has asked a parley with a view to surrontlcr- 

2 This was "Old Abe," probably most funioiis mascot in American milit-iry 
history. For an account of him see "The Story of Ohi Abe" in this maga/.inc, II, Hi -84. 



ing. Everybody is looking toward Vicksburg and wondering why 
the thunder of the guns has stopped. Another rumor says Gen- 
eral Grant has mined their forts and has given them twelve hours 
to surrender and if they refuse the chain of forts will be blown up. 

Have just heard that poor Orlando Adams, my chum from 
Mondovi, is dead. He tried to get a furlough but failed. I was 
afraid when I bid him goodbye in Columbus, Kentucky, I should 
never see him again. The poor fellow cried when we left him to 
go south. Orlando never recovered from the effect of the measles. 
He wanted so bad to go home to die, but the rules had been strict 
against furloughs. Big Bill Anderson of Durand has just peeped 
in my tent and asked about my health. He gave me some black- 
berries. He said he had been out foraging for the sick boys. Bill 
is a wild fellow, but he has a great big heart and I know he is 
sicker this minute than some of the boys he is nursing. 

You may send this letter over to sister D. 

Your son, 


Snyder's Bluff, Miss. 
Hd. Quarters 25th. Wis. Vol. Inft. 

Dear Father: 

Since my last letter we have moved our position to within 
eight miles of Vicksburg. Yesterday eleven regiments of Burn- 
side's corps landed. The old fellow himself with his well-known 
side whiskers came also. His men think he is pretty near a god. 
The hills and valleys for miles and miles are literally white with 
tents, and the music of bands from morning till night is ringing 
in our ears. I think it would be safe to say there are not less than 
twenty -five thousand tents within a circumference of eight miles. 
Clouds of dust from moving troops fill the air in every direction. 
Several batteries of artillery are just passing, six to eight big horses 
to each gun, and the men riding on the cassions are breathing a 
constant smudge. They don't have to walk, that is one thing in 
their favor, but I don't think I would like the battery service. 

Rumor is still in the air that the Rebel General Johnston is 
maneuvering to cut his way through to help General Pemberton 
in Vicksburg. That is the reason for so many batteries and in- 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


fantry coming here and taking positions at this time. I am sure a 
hundred thousand rebels could not break our lines at this point. 
We have three lines of heavy fortifications with batteries every 
eighty rods. Several thousand spades are kept constantly busy 
strengthening the lines. Our regiment was out yesterday on spade 
duty. I suppose we did a lot of digging, but for my part I don't 
think I did more than an hour's work, and I am sure I worked as 
hard as anybody. It takes the darkies to dig. One hundred 
negroes will shovel as much dirt as a thousand yankee soldiers, and 
sing plantation songs all the time. I went out a mile yesterday 
on the second line to see them work and hear them sing. Most of 
their songs are love songs, and it's always something about the 
cotton and the canefields. Rules are mighty strict and getting 
stricter everyday. Our main work is to clean and polish up our 
guns, and to see that our cartridge and cap boxes are kept dry. 
We have inspection of arms every day at ten o'clock. Every gun 
is examined and woe to the soldier whose gun is not in order. < We 
know not at what hour, day, or night the roll of the drum will call 
us into line of battle. 

I noticed in a copy of the Alma Journal you sent me that the 
people of Gilmanton, had been subscribing funds for the U. S. 
Sanitary commission. The object is a noble one and I am glad 
the Gilmanton folks have gone into their pockets to help it. By 
the way does Mr. G. say anything more about the hundred dollars 
he was to donate toward a private school in our valley when I en- 
listed .^^ Don't say anything about it. If he gives it, all right. If 
he don't, all right. I don't care for his hundred dollars. But of 
course as he volunteered to give it I never can think as much of 
him for lying about it. This sanitary commission is a soldier's 
home or stopping place, wherever a soldier h«appens to bo, in any 
town in the north. He is given a bed and meals free of charge and 
medicine and care if he is sick. They are in the border states as 
well, too, where our troops are in possession. If llu y are out of 
money they can stay weeks or months without cost until they got 
money or transportation to go on. 

Of course the good people of Gilmanton expect to colobrato the 
4th of July and I expected to be with them when I enlisted but T 
shall not be there. I am glad to hear you say that my s])oIling is 



better than it was, although you don't find my writing any better. 
You say I don't write any plainer than Horace Greeley. Well, 
there were some that managed to read Greeley and what the world 
found in his writings makes me rather glad that my penmanship 
is no better than his. 

I am glad that sister D. secured a school. She don't write me 
so often any more. What's the matter with her.f^ If the folks at 
home could know what happy fools it made of us to get letters, 
they would write more of them and longer ones. I have half a 
mind to confess that I have had the blues for a couple of days. I 
have had a touch of intermittent fever. Hundreds of the boys are 
under the care of the doctor for chills and fever. We are drinking 
water a little better than poison, and the miasma of this Yazoo 
River is getting in its work. The cannonading about Vicksburg is 
fiercer than ever. Last night the doctor gave me some infernal 
stuff for my fever that kept me awake. It must have been mid- 
night before I got to sleep. I lay with the flap of my tent thrown 
back watching the shells from a hundred mortars, making a fiery 
half -circle as rising like a flaming rocket, they circled and fell into 
the city; then followed the explosion. How can those people 
sleep I should think the people of that city would be perishing 
for sleep. There has not been an hour the three weeks past but 
shells have been bursting in every part of the city. 

There was a bunch of about fifty rebs passed our camp yester- 
day taken at Vicksburg in a charge upon our works. They were 
put upon a boat at this landing for transportation to the North. 
They tell awful tales of hunger and want of sleep in Vicksburg. 
It takes half the people all the time to put out the fires started by 
our shells and they have no flour and only horse and mule meat. 
They hinted that Jeff Davis was inside the lines. The story isn't 
believed but everybody is talking about it. It pleases me that 
Elder Morse likes my letters. I told Henry what his father said 
about his writing and he merely laughed. Henry Morse is sick at 
this time with chills and fever. It is a common sickness on this 
Yazoo River. 

There is talk that the city will be stormed from the entire ten 
miles of line this week. A victory here and the surrender of Pern- 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


berton would open the Mississippi to the Gulf, then hurrah for 
Virginia and a healthier climate. 

Send me some stamps as money won't buy stamps down here. 
Tell mother when I come back I'll bring her an aunt Dinah or a 
Topsy to show her how to bake hoe cake in the fireplace and roast 
potatoes in hot ashes. 

Love to all, 
Your son, 


Hd. Quarters 25th Wis. Vol., 
Snyder's Bluff, Miss., July 1, 1863. 

Dear Father: 

It has been some time since writing you last, but we have had 
a busy time coming and going and maneuvering; that is our regi- 
ment has been on the move for more than a week and no chance 
to write a letter nor to mail one. A week ago yesterday our regi- 
ment got orders to go to Cypress Bend, on the Arkansas side of the 
river, 200 miles up the river to capture or disperse a band of guer- 
rillas that were firing from ambush along the shore on the passing 
steamers, trying to kill the pilots and cripple the boats. They 
have even fired into hospital boats that were flying hospital flags. 
Every able-bodied man in our regiment, about six hundred, was 
ordered into line, guns and ammunition inspected. The next 
morning we boarded the Dexter, a Mississippi boat that reached 
nearly across the Yazoo River, and were soon pushing down to- 
ward the father of waters. The idea of riding on the ^Mississippi 
again and heading toward home made us happy. And we figured 
on having a good drink soon as our boat touched the nuiddy 
waters of the big river that we somehow loved just because it 
flowed by our homes. 

We had just been paid off for two months and t he )>oys IkkI a 
good fill of oysters and store crackers. I only got six dollars 
though. I had drawn some extra clothing und my lit tie tlnrt<MMi 
dollars was cut to three dollars a month. It was so long iigo 1 got, 
the clothes, I began to think the clothes were forgotten, rncie 
Sam's paymasters have a good memory. Just as 1 .nu writ ing this 



the Silver Moon, a Yazoo steamer, is passing up the Yazoo toward 
Haines* Bluff. She has a caliope and it is playing "Nellie Gray." 
She is loaded with hard-tack and bales of hay clear to the water 
line and her half naked deck hands lying around on the hay bales 
look like so many alligators. She gave us the right of way and we 
pushed on down this river whose water though clear and tempting 
we dared not drink. The boys kept cracking away at the alliga- 
tors that lay on logs and driftwood on the sand banks. The scaly 
things would flounder into the water and sink out of sight. Some 
of them looked to be seven or eight feet long, more of them were 
three or four feet. 

We reached Young's Point in the evening and waited there all 
night for some cavalry and a battery that was to accompany us. 
We were just out of cannon range of Vicksburg. I lay on the 
hurricane deck of our boat and with my head bolstered up on my 
knapsack so I could see. I watched the fire of our gun boats in 
sight of us down the river as broadside after broadside was poured 
into the city. Every discharge would come up the river like a 
great roll of thunder. It may seem strange to you but all the first 
part of that night I was thinking more of home than of the things 
going on around me. It seemed as if the shells from the mortars 
went up into the clouds a half mile and then would drop in a circle 
of fire into the city of Vicksburg. They looked like meteors only 
their track was red and they would often burst before they reached 
the ground. I don't think I got to sleep before midnight and when 
I woke up the sun was shining. 

June 26th. Our battery and cavalry regiment came at nine 
o'clock and at eleven o'clock we swung into the great river with 
bow headed up stream. Soon as we got fairly into the current the 
boys made a rush for the boiler deck to get a drink of the water 
that came from the lakes and springs of Wisconsin and Minnesota. 
It was dirty and muddy and we saw dead mules and cattle floating 
by and knew that it was the sewer for all the filth of the northern 
states, but whether we were dry or not we drank, and drank, until 
it ran out of our nose just because it came from the glorious North. 

Well, all that day as we steamed up the great river we lay 
round and talked, dreamed, and loafed. There was scarcely a 
break in the deep dark forests that came right down to the river 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 

bank. Our guns were loaded and we had them in hand all day 
because we were warned that we might be attacked at any mo- 
ment. We had in our fleet four transports loaded with troops, and 
three gunboats with heavy brass cannon. 

June 27th. The weather is awfully hot. We are tied up at 
Cypress Bend where all the attacks have been made on passing 
vessels. Our boats are tied to the Arkansas shore. We had a 
rain last night that gave us on the top a good wetting but the air 
this morning is cooler for the rain. The gun boats anchored amid 
stream and sent a lot of shells over into the woods beyond the 
plantation that lies along the shore. The idea was to draw the 
fire of the rebel forces, but nothing came of our firing. The cav- 
alry was landed at noon and deployed as scouts across the big 
bend in the river. At seven o'clock we ran to the Mississippi 
side and tied up for the night. Everything was quiet for the 
night. There were some boats calling to our guards as they passed 
during the night to find out if the river was clear to Vicksburg. 
Next morning we went on shore, both cavalry and infantry under 
cover of our gun boats. They first sent a few shells screaming 
through the tree tops a mile or two inland as a sort of feeler, but 
getting no reply the batteries, cavalry and infantry went ashore. 

This letter will be finished next week. 

Cypress Bend, Arkansas, 
July 2nd, 1863. 

Dear Father: 

We deployed a good half mile in line soon as we got .nsliore in 
a grove of timber that lay between the river bank and tlio iiKuision 
of the planter and the village of negro huts that flanked tlio big 
house on the right and left. This plantation worked nearly ."iOO 
slaves we were told. The mansion was built on j)iors like most 
homes of the South, ten or twelve feet above the ground : the base- 
ment surrounded by a lattice and serving as kitchen and laundry 
and living place for the house servants. We had orders to ni.jkr a 
careful examination of the place as it was tliouglit tlii^ guerrillas 
we were after had made this place their headquarters. I was 
among the first to reach the house. Tliere wore no whites in siclii 
but I saw a few scared-looking black faces who got out of sii:ht .is 



we came near. Some of the boys had talked with the blacks who 
denied that there had been any rebels quartered there. We knew 
the negroes were lying. We found where there had been beds and 
lots of ash heaps where there had been camp fires and the tracks 
of horses and scattering corn fodder. Five or six of us went to 
the stairway and opened the door leading on to the gallery. Just 
as we stepped in the wide hall, three women, an old grey-haired 
lady and two young ladies, came up to us and asked us not to 
come into the house. The oldest one pleaded pitifully, wringing 
and rubbing her hands first one and then the other, and then 
reaching out her hands toward us as far as she could urging us to 
stay out, all the while crying and at times screaming as if her 
heart was breaking. She said her mother was sick and likely to 
die and begged us to go away. I never felt meaner in my life. 
The Co. K. man who did the talking told her we had orders to 
search the house for rebels and we had to do it. He tried to say 
something by way of excuse. One of the boys pushed by the girls 
and opened a closet in the wall. The girl jumped into the door and 
with tears streaming down her face begged him to stay out. 
There is nothing in here she said but the wardrobe and relics of my 
dying mother. She took him by the arm and pushed him away 
and closed the door. The house was soon crowded with soldiers 
and the door of the closet opened and examined but we found 
nothing but dresses and cloaks and bonnets and blankets. I got 
ashamed and wished that I was out of it. I went back into the 
big hall and found a bookcase. I stuck Longfellow's Hiawatha in 
my pocket and Ed. Coleman and Elder Harwood took turns with 
me reading it on our return to Snyder's Bluff. 

When I went outside I found several buildings on fire. The 
orders had been not to set any fires, but nobody cared and nobody 
would tell. Suddenly a report came in that a body of rebels had 
been seen by our cavalry some four miles inland. We hurriedly 
got into line and for two hours marched back through the deepest, 
darkest forest I ever saw. All at once there came the ring of 
rifles on every side. The ranks were broken and men supposed to 
be brave as lions dodged right and left, while others fired their 
guns out of pure fright with no enemy in sight. It had turned out 
that we had surprised a company of rebel cavalry who were boiling 

The Letters of Chauncey H. Cooke 


coffee for an afternoon lunch and after emptying their carbines at 
our cavalry scouts and giving us a good surprise they retreated in 
every direction through the woods. 

It was lucky for us after all. We had just pulled ourselves 
together for a forward march when scouts came galloping up with 
the news that 4,000 rebels under the command of Marmaduke 
were flanking us on both sides and had already planted cannon on 
the crossroads between us and the river. In less time than I am 
telling you we were countermarching at double quick. We made ' 
four crossroads to the big plantation and at every one of them we 
expected to be raked by rebel cannister and grape. Before we 
reached the last crossroad, shells from our gun boats were scream- 
ing over our heads and bursting in our rear, scattering death 
amongst the rebs as it seemed to us letting us get back into the 
open cotton field of the big plantation with not a man lost. But 
it was music to hear those shells ripping through the tree tops on 
their mission of death. We knew it meant our salvation and death 
to the rebels. 

When we got back to the big plantation we found nearly all 
the buildings on fire save the mansion alone. The barns, gin 
house, sawmill, and immense drying sheds were all ablaze sending 
up columns of black smoke. The cavalry that followed us told us 
that we had barely crossed the last crossroad when the rebels 
planted a battery not fifty rods from our line of retreat so as to 
rake us at the crossing with cannister. There is no doubt our 
gunboats that kept up a rapid fire over our heads was a mighty 
lucky thing for us. The rebels had three men to our one and knew 
every road and vantage point; but for our brass war dogs they 
would have made it hot for us. We boarded our boats and with 
one gun boat for convoy, leaving two at the bend for prottvtion 
to passing vessels, reached our old quarters on the Yazoo yester- 

Don't forget to send a paper now and then. You are riglit 
when you suppose it is hot down there. Dan Hadk\v and Henry 
Morse are both on the sick list and about twenty-five otliers you 
don't know in the company. I am glad to hear tliat you liavo liolp 
for harvest. I hope mother won't need to go in \hc li.iyfidd this 
summer nor rake up grain. It is too hard work and it don't seem 



right. I loaned all my stamps and I must hunt one to send this 
letter. Love to mother and the rest. 

Your boy, 


Snyder's Bluff, Miss., July 15, 1863. 

Hd. Quarters 25th Vol. 

Dear Brother: 

I have for many days thought of writing to you, first because 
I like you and second because you are not writing to me as often 
as you ought. 

Since the surrender of Vicksburg on the fourth of this month 
there has been all sorts of rumors as to our future movements. 
The late battles won by the Army of the Potomac along with the 
victory over Pemberton here at Vicksburg somehow make us boys 
feel that the end of the war is near. O, if you could have seen and 
heard what I have these ten days past. Pemberton had nearly 
thir y thousand all surrendered to Grant on the 4th of this month. 
And they were glad to be prisoners and paroled to go to their 
homes. They cursed the war and called it a nigger war. I heard 
lots of them say, that had never owned a nigger, that they were 
fooled and wished they had stayed at home. The bombardment 
of Vicksburg the night of the surrender was fearful. The clouds 
above the city looked blood-red as if they were all on fire. The 
thunder of the cannon for two or three nights and the rumor of 
surrender kept us awake. We that were rather on the sick list 
with chills and fever were pretty anxious at the reports that the 
rebel General Johnston was daily preparing to attack us. Since 
the surrender the troops by brigades and divisions have gradually 
withdrawn. All this means that the danger of attack is past. 

While I am writing this letter our scouts have brought in word 
that the rebel General Johnston has been bagged with 65000 
troops. Some of the boys are wild over the news, others simply 
smile and say it's nothing but a false rumor. Whether it is true 
or false you will know by the papers before this reaches you. 

Some of the boys were down to the city of Vicksburg today. 
They said it was a pretty nice place, but it was badly shot up. 
Nearly half the town had been burned and the streets were torn 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


up by our shells. It costs twenty dollars in Confederate money 
to get a meal, and one dollar in U. S. Greenbacks. The darkies 
were filling up the town and grinning and showing their white 
teeth at every corner. Grey headed niggers and pretty quadroons 
begged the soldiers for money and blessed Abraham Lincoln for 
sending them south to make them free. Most of the boys hate 
the blacks and say hard things about them. I never can forget 
what father told me at Mr. Fuller's place when I got in the wagon 
after that awful good dinner to go to Alma. You remember it' 
brother W. He said if you ever get a chance, my boy, take good 
aim and shoot twice to free the black while shooting once for the 

I don't dare say anything like this to the boys, because they 
would laugh at me. But I have read enough to know that Phillips 
was right and Garrison was right and he thought as they did. 
And I thought for days after going to La Crosse of the tears I saw 
in his eyes as he asked me always to remember the slave. 

Well, brother, to change the subject, have you killed any 
prairie chickens this summer.f^ It is nearly time for pigeons again. 
Good Lord, how I hope I can be with you to eat speckled trout and 
prairie chickens this fall. 

I am writing this upon my back. The doctor gave me some- 
thing for my fever that makes my head whirl. When he came to 
my tent this morning I asked him if I was very sick. When I told 
him I was seventeen he said, ''you ought to have been thrashed 
and kept at home two years longer." I told the doctor that he 
looked sick himself, and he admitted he was not feeling well. 

Say, how are the neighbors coming.? How does Geo. Cart- 
wright behave.? Does he and uncle Ed. cock up twice as much hay 
as you and father.? What does Edward Cass busy himself about? 
Have he and father got that big field fenced in yet? And ^ [aggie 
C. is she as pretty and haughty as ever? How docs Jim Pierce 
prosper this summer? Has he commenced that brick house he 
never tired of telling about? I sometimes wish lightning had 
struck that man, father then might have got a bettor farm. Pierce 
took father in just because he was too honest. Do the cows break 
in the fields any this summer? Does mother make K)ts of cheese 
and butter? Great heavens, what butter and choose molhor couUl 



make. When those people from St. Louis came through there and 
praised mother's bread and butter I thought they were fooling, 
but now I know they were telling the truth. Well, I have got some 
soft bread to-day noon ! some biscuit I bought of a settler. And 
I have some butter I paid 50 cents for and some coffee. Don't you 
think I have a first rate supper .^^ Just like the little boy in the 
third reader who was happy over his porridge alone when he dis- 
covered that everything else of the meal had been stolen. 
Love to yourself, father, mother and sister D. 

Your brother, 


Snyder Bluff, Miss., July 19, 1863. 

25th Regt. Wis. Vol. Inft. 

Dear Sister: 

I got your much valued letter containing your likeness nearly 
two weeks ago. I was pretty sick at that time with the fever, the 
Yazoo fever. Since then I have written home. Just two weeks 
ago I was taken with the chills the day after the fall of Vicksburg. 
But I ain't alone, there are thousands along this river of death, 
that's what the boys have named the Yazoo, that are on their 
backs just like me. 

The doctor has knocked the chills for the time at least, though 
they have made me weak. Dan Hadley and Bill Anderson look 
in on me once in a while to see that I want for nothing. All the 
other boys that are well have their patients too. Every fellow has 
his chum to wait on him. It rained night before last and all day 
yesterday and there was a hot steam rising from the ground. But 
it settled the dust and the moving troops don't kick up any dust. 
We can hear the scream of boats on the Mississippi and Yazoo 
night and day. Troops are being shipped up and down the river 
points fast as boats can get here. Several batteries have passed 
to-day with six and eight big sleek horses to each gun. The gun- 
ners were laughing and calling to one another like a bunch of 
schoolboys. Moving infantry is constantly in sight. A regiment 
of cavalry is just now trotting slowly by. Their saber scabbards 
freshly scoured look bright in the sun and their horses after their 
long rest are acting pretty wild. I often wish I had got transferred 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


to the cavalry like Ed. Cartwright did at the first. There is a little 
more danger but you don't have to walk and that saves a soldier 
a lot. 

They are fitting out some hospital boats and after the troops 
fit for service are transported the sick and convalescent will be 
taken to northern hospitals. I hear that some three hundred in 
our regiment are to be put on. I don't know whether I fall within 
that last or not, but I fear I do. 

The doctor says we can't recruit in this hot climate but must 
get farther north. We are looking for marching orders any day, 
for some point up the river as far as Memphis, Tenn., or perhaps 
to Kentucky. Mensus Bump has just been in to see me. He said 
I made myself sick by eating a whole can of oysters. What he 
meant was this The night we went on board for Cypress Bluff 
we had just had our pay and the boys were hungry for nick nacks. 
I bought a can of oysters, took it on the boat for fear the boys 
would steal it from me when I was asleep, ate it all up that night. 
I knew it was too much but I never thought oysters would hurt a 

Sister D. your picture suits me to a dot. Your face never 
looked so good to me before, and your letters, say my dear girl, 
you have a wonderful knack of telling things. Mother always 
said you were father's girl. I shall be glad when I can do as well 
as you. You remember Mr. Rosman used to say I was always 
chipping in when you tried to tell something about catching trout 
or about father's shooting a deer or a bear. Well, some things you 
would forget, and I tried to help you out. Say, sister, I linvon't 
forgot how you would scold me for these things when we woukl he 
going back over the hill home the next day. Laying here on my 
back under a tent of thin cotton cloth, under a hot southern sun I 
can't help thinking, thinking, thinking. 

Say, by George, how I wish I could have some of that straw- 
berry shortcake. Land of Goshen, I can taste it now. We liavc 
no strawberries but oceans of blackberries. Wo liavo plenty of 
sugar to go with them but no cream. 

Well it's getting dull here, most of the troops in sight save our 
Brigade have gone north or out to follow up the Rebel Johnston's 
scattered army. It has been so quiet and still since the surrendtT 



of Vicksburg it seems dull enough. It is only three miles to the city 
and the boys that are able run in often as they can get a pass. 

The black freedmen are coming in from the country by the 
thousand and going north to enlist. Several men from our regi- 
ment have offered to go as oflScers in the black regiments. They 
are doing with the slaves just what General Fremont asked Lin- 
coln to do at the beginning of the war. This is, set the blacks free 
and make soldiers of them. If you had not sent me stamps, I 
could not send you this letter. I am glad you like your school. 
Only look out for the fellow who lives so near. You should go 
home as often as possible and help mother and take care of sister 
E. They say she is a dreadful nice girl. Wonder if she isn't a bit 
like her older brother. Sorry I offended pretty Maggie Cass when 
I wrote her the black people were human beings and had souls. So 
she says she won't write me any more.? Well unless I run against 
a rebel bullet or a hard dose of Yazoo fever I'll try and outlive her 

Sam Loomis's company is camping about two miles from here. 
He comes down once in a while to visit us. He looks pretty thin 
but his duties as commissary are pretty light so he ought to stand 
it. I most forgot to tell you Henry Morse and Daniel Hadley have 
been sick for the last six weeks. They have been getting better. 
O, how did you pass the 4th of July.? I was on picket duty that 
day though sick enough to be in bed. It's the fashion of soldiers 
to run on comrades who complain of being sick. They call it 
playing off. I have noticed that the fellows that do that kind of 
jibing are infernal cowards themselves. I have learned that the 
Dutch boys make the bravest soldiers. They don't do any brag- 
ging and they are ready for service no matter how dangerous. Is 
there any one working your eighty this summer.? I am thinking 
what a fine farm my forty and your eighty would make together. 

If Myra Amidon ever asks you whether or not I received that 
letter she and you wrote in company, tell her I did of course and 
answered it and directed to you. If she wants an answer tell her 
to write on her own hook and I'll be glad to answer. Tell her I 
owe her a grudge for beating me at that foot race through the corn- 
field to the house. My heavens how that girl can run. Myra has 
the nicest blue eyes I ever saw. How easy it is to write and write 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 4.53 

of friends and dear ones at home. You will be tired when you 
read all this, and I must quit. Kiss mother for me and save one 
for yourself. 

Your brother, 


Snyder's Bluff, Miss., July 25, 1863 
Hd. Quarters 25th Regt., Wis. Vol. 

Dear Mother: 

I feel just like writing you to-day. I am sitting in the shade of 
a big Cypress tree, on the banks of the Yazoo. Looking across the 
river I can see on some flood trash, two black things looking like 
aligators. They don't move and I am not sure. There is a pretty 
spring just below where I sit and a sign over it which says, "Don't 
drink this water, poison." It is as big as the spring at the head 
of our coulee and as pure looking. It seems strange that we cannot 
drink out of the springs here that look just as they do in Wisconsin. 
Some of the boys don't mind the sign. Some that are burning up 
with fever and thirst manage to stagger down here and fill up with 
water and go back to their tents and die. Say mother, what would 
you think if I should say I have sometimes wished when the fever 
made me so hot I could hardly stand it that I could go to sleep and 
never wake up till the war was over. Now this may sound kind 
of weak for a soldier. 

But I am no coward, mother. I don't come from that kind of 
stock. I remember how you put the gun at the head of your bed 
when father was gone to Fountain City, ready to use it if Indians 
should come or wild animals attack the cattle. And father came 
home and he would pat you on the back and say "You are just the 
girl for a pioneer's wife." I remember these things mollior, and 
under all circumstances I shall never forget that my fatlior and 
mother were brave people. 

I wrote brother Warren the day before getting your letter so 
I have delayed answering yours. I am a groat deal better from 
chills and a sort of intermittent fever. I have been taking quinine 
which seems to have broken the chills. I am thankful it is not 
that other kind of fever that is killing off t he boys so fast . Twenty- 



three men have lately died out of our regiment. There are only 
about 100 men out of the regiment fit to do duty. 

Thank goodness we are about done with this part of the South. 
The report now is that our entire Brigade will go to Memphis and 
on up the Tennessee where a northern soldier can live. Two regi- 
ments of our brigade have already left, the Third Minnesota and 
the Fortieth Iowa. The Twenty-seventh Wisconsin and our regi- 
ment will leave soon and then hurrah for a healthier climate. The 
rebel General Johnston and his Butternut band have skedaddled 
to parts unknown. Of course you have heard of the retreat of 
Gens. Lee and Bragg, and of the riot of the mob in New York City 
and the burning of negro asylums and school houses. That mob 
uprising looked bad for the North. It was a Democratic crowd 
in sympathy with the South. Cost what blood, time and treasure 
it may, the Union will yet win out. 

We were paid off the other day, and to my surprise nothing 
was taken out for extra clothes drawn. Maybe they will take it 
out later. We got full pay, $26. 

This makes twice we have drawn pay at this place. You ask 
what general it was that ordered that killing retreat, for retreat 
it was, from Satartia to Haines Bluff .^^ It was General Kimball, a 
Potomac General, who is now acting General for our corps. We 
are not in love with him, and some of the boys say he will get shot 
by his own men the first fight we get into. It is time for roll call 
and as I am not excused I must quit and go back to camp. 

Love to father and the rest. 

Your son, 


Snyder's Bluff, Miss., July 28, 1863. 

Hd. Quarters Wis. Regt. 

Dear Mother: 

Your last letter at hand. There is no medicine like a letter 
from home. Let me tell you mother it does a fellow a lot of good. 
I am glad you are having such success with the bees. It makes my 
mouth water for biscuit and honey. I wish you would not take 
so many chances of getting stung. You ought to wear a veil of 
cheese cloth over you face. Don't think so much of me. I am all 

The Letters of Chauncey H, Cooke 


right. We have a plenty to eat. By paying a good round price 
we can get almost anything good to eat. I wish you would think 
more of yourself. When I see you in my sleep working in the hay- 
field helping to get up the hay it troubles me. I suppose as you say 
that help is hard to get and maybe there is no other way. I am 
careful you may be sure what I eat. Our dainties we get of the 
sutler, and it is nearly all in cans. I eat a lot of oysters and I find 
them good for me. That deer that father killed must have come 
in good play. Don't spoil your relish for it by constantly think- 
ing of me. I told you I am all right. When I get a dish of oysters 
I always think how fond father is of them. 

You say they are going to get rich in Bennet Valley where 
father bought that forty for me. Well I am happy to know that. 
It may be they will have use for a part of it when the next re- 
cruiting officer comes that way. Nor will he, likely as not, waste 
his eloquence in trying to coax them to enlist as J. A. Brackett did 
when I enlisted. He will like as not tell them to furnish so many 
men or stand a draft. 

This war ain't over yet. There may be a lot of money paid out 
for substitutes yet. Just think of it, they are paying as high as a 
thousand dollars for substitutes in many of the states. It all 
means that people are getting tired of the fussy way the war is 
being carried on. If the slaves had been declared free right at the 
start, just as father said, and put into the ranks to fight, the war 
might have ended long ago. I see by the papers there are fifty 
thousand freedmen under arms and they are doing good service. 
The poor black devils are fighting for their wives and children, yes 
and for their lives, while we white cusses are fighting for what 
Capt. Dorwin calls an idea. I tell the boys right to their face I am 
in the war for the freedom of the slave. When they talk about the 
saving of the Union I tell them that is Dutch to me. I am for help- 
ing the slaves if the Union goes to smash. Most of the boys h.ive 
their laugh at me for helping the "Niggers" but Elder Harw.xKl 
and Ed. Coleman and Julius Parr and Joel Hannon and ( het Ide, 
the last two of Mondovi, tell me I am right in my argument. 

I am sorry father lost that deer. He should take old Trinee 
to help him next time. It is too bad to wound a d<<T for the 
wolves to catch and eat up in that way. We have fresh beef all 



the time since the surrender. These canebrakes are full of half- 
wild cattle, and they are fat as butter. 

I thank brother W. for sending me those stamps. I will send 
him a book when I get to Memphis. Mother, I wish you would 
send me a small package of butter by Lieut. McKay, who is home 
on furlough for thirty days. I like John McKay. He is a good 
man. He is a good officer and fair to his men. His wife, I think, 
is in Modena, where he enlisted. You will see a notice of his arri- 
val in the Alma Journal. For the can of butter you send I want 
you to reserve a ten-dollar greenback for your own especial use 
out of the sum I send you. Good bye, dear mother. 

Your boy, 



I note under the caption "Napoleonic Soldiers in Wisconsin" 
in the last issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History interesting 
data relative to those who served under the "Little Corporal" 
and who lie buried in Wisconsin. 

My father, H. W. Roblier, had charge of the Columbia 
County Poorhouse for thirty years prior to 1884, and I have in - 
my possession an old register of the early inmates of that institu- 
tion. I find therein this record: "Jonas Haywood. Admitted in 
the Columbia County Poor House, from the Town of Scott, 
Jan., l£th, 1859. Born in England, is 78 years of age. Died 
after a lingering illness June, 12th, 1867, 7 o'clock, p. m. Was 
buried on the 13th, in grave No. 9 on the Poor House lot in the 
Wyocena cemetery by John McConnell, Theodore Dixon, James 
Babcock and H. W. Roblier." 

My father has many times informed me that Jonas Haj^wood 
was a soldier in the English army, and fought at the battle of 
Waterloo under Wellington. I do not know if the grave of this 
old warrior can now be located in the Wyocena cemetery, but I 
presume it can as there must be some record there. If there 
should be no record other than that above referred to, I assure 
you that the one in my possession is open for inspection at any 
time. In going over this old record I find many interesting 
entries, but this is the only one that seems to have any connection 
with Napoleon's campaigns. Who knows but this old veteran 
may have witnessed the charge of the "Old Guard," that last 
flash of the Emperor's star? 

William A. Roblier, Coloma 

Michael Hirschinger and Michael Nii)pert niii relied with 
Napoleon, and their names might be added to those meiit ionod by 
A. O. Barton in his article published in the Wiscotisiti Magazine 
of History for March, 1921. Both of these soldiers, who were 
with the great Corsican, are buried in a nind remetery about 
four miles southwest of Baraboo and the inscriptions at their 
graves read as follows: 



Michael Hirschinger 
March 20, 1853 
Aged 67 Years 

May 23, 1864 
Aged 70 years, 2 months 

Michael Nippert 

Michael Hirschinger was the father of former Assemblyman 
Charles Hirschinger, now a resident of Baraboo. The most 
thrilling experience of the parent was his march to Moscow with 
Napoleon in the fall of 1812 and the retreat through the wintry 
snows. The father often told his son of that terrible winter, how 
many of the soldiers, after fording streams, perished in the cold. 
Something like a half million men marched to Moscow but the 
flower of the army was gone when the warm days of spring 

Michael Hirschinger was born at Strassburg and with his 
wife sailed for America in 1832. When five days from land a 
storm carried away both sails and rudder; it was thirteen weeks 
before those on board were rescued. All were given up as lost. 
The couple landed at New York, walked all the way to Pitts- 
burgh, and came to Sauk County in 1847. Both are buried in 
Rock Hill cemetery. 

Two of Mr. Hirschinger 's brothers were in Napoleon's body- 
guard; both were about six feet and four inches tall. Both were 
killed and buried at Strassburg. Duels were popular in those 
days and a soldier had challenged a youth. When one of the 
Hirschingers interceded on account of the brief years of the 
young man the aggressor forthwith challenged the would-be 
mediator. They drew their swords and Hirschinger, being 
clever with this weapon, severed a button from the coat of his 
antagonist and then threw the blade to the ground. The warrior 
was so angry he thrust his weapon through Hirschinger, killing 
him to the astonishment of the onlookers. The man was after- 
wards court-martialed and shot. 

But little is known concerning Michael Nippert. As to his 
early life or martial deeds there are no records. He was a near 
neighbor of Michael Hirschinger, and their experiences were often 
exchanged in the presence of members of the families, but the 
conversations have faded with the passing years. His wife, too, 
sleeps beside him. 

H. E. Cole, Baraboo 

Those Original Parchment Title Deeds 



The letter which follows came to my mind when I read the 
item in the Wisconsin Magazine of History for September, 1920, 
on page 115: on "original parchment title deeds to government 
land." We have had a number of these given to the Normal 
School and often the question of the president's signature has 
arisen. I wrote a letter of inquiry to the General Land Office and 
from the answer received first learned which of the signatures are > 
original and which are by the hand of a clerk. 

My dear Mr. Sanford : 

In reply to your letter of October 14, 1919, desiring to know what 
presidents, if any, signed land patents with their own hands, you are 
advised that these patents were signed by the presidents, personally, up 
to and including a portion of the year 1833. The act of March 2, 1833, 
reads as follows: 

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America, by Congress assembled, that it shall be la^^'ful 
for the President of the United States, by and with the advice and 
consent of the Senate, to appoint a Secretary, with a salary of One 
thousand, five hundred dollars per annum, whose duty it shall be, under 
the direction of the President, to sign in his name, and for him, all 
patents for lands granted or sold under the authority of the United 

*'Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, that this act shall continue 
and be in force until the fourth day of March, one thousand eight 
hundred and thirty-seven, and no longer." 

This act expiring in March 1837, a second act, practically identical 
with the first, except that it contained no limitation, was passed and 
approved on July 4, 1836. 

Very respectfully, 

John McPhaul 
Albert H. Sanford, La Crosse 



During the three months' period ending April 6, 1921 there were 
seventy-one additions to the membership roll of the State Historical 
Society. Seven of these enrolled as life members, as follows : John Boler, 
Sawyer; Edward G. Broennimann, New York City; Col. Arthur L. 
Conger, Washington, D. C; Adolph R. Janecky, Racine; Judson G. 
Rosebush, Appleton; Frederick D. Underwood, New York City; Francis 
J. Webb, Duluth, Minn. 

Fifty persons became annual members of the Society: Mrs. W. H. 
Allen, Medford; Dr. Bernhard F. Bellack, Columbus; Edward W. 
Blaisdell, Waukesha; Mary E. Chadwick, Watertown; Mrs. W. H. 
Chesbrough, Beloit; Lyle E. Douglass, Waukesha; Daniel F. Enos, 
Waukesha; Hans P. Fuley, Hay ward; John H. Gage, Wauwatosa; 
Mabel E. Griswold, Madison; Mrs. D. A. Hadley, Oconomowoc; 
Winifred E. Hale, Waukesha; George McClellan Harley, Webste^; 
Erie S. Harrison, Waukesha; Rolla M. Heath, Waukesha; Wilfred L. 
Heindel, South Wayne; Leopold L. Imig, Sheboygan; Mrs. Charlotte 
Gasmann Johnson, Amherst; Lillia E. Johnson, Eau Claire; Alvin L. 
Jung, Milwaukee; Mrs. Clarence J. Klopf, Madison; Rudolph R. 
Knorr, Milwaukee; Sophelia Kurkowski, Amherst; Mrs. Charles G. 
McGlashan, Madison; Rev. Samuel M. MacNeill, Wauwatosa; William 
Meyer, Milwaukee; Hans H. Mieding, Milwaukee; Eric R. Miller, 
Madison; Mrs. Nellie Okey Mink, Lancaster; Alexander R. Muelle'r, 
Milwaukee; Philip J. Ott, Milwaukee; D. S. Peck, Hay ward; Hugh 
Pomeroy, Appleton; Louis Quarles, Milwaukee; Carroll Quimby, 
Sheboygan; Herman E. Rehwald, Racine; John C. Schmidtmann, 
Manitowoc; Adolph G. Schwefel, Milwaukee; Otto F. Schwefel, Water- 
town; Harlan G. Seyforth, Ellsworth; Herman A. Starcke, Glidden; 
Willis E. Switzer, Wabeno; Mrs. B. M. Vaughan, Wisconsin Rapids; 
Robert O. Wanvig, Milwaukee; William E. Webb, Lancaster; Dr. 
Thomas R. Welch, Rhinelander; Ella Sage Wilder, Watertown; George 
F. Wilder, Seattle, Wash.; Milford Witts, Watertown; Mrs. H. N. 
Zufelt, Sheboygan. 

Fourteen institutions entered the Society as Wisconsin school 
members as follows: The Day School for the Deaf at Appleton; the 
State Normal School at Eau Claire; and the high schools at Ashland, 
Belleville, Birnamwood, Dodgeville, Fort Atkinson, Greenwood, 
Hixton (Union Free High School), Marshfield, Mayville, Milwaukee 
(South Division High School), Muscoda, and Oconto Falls. 

During this period three annual members changed to the life 
membership class: Theodore Brazeau, Wisconsin Rapids; Belle L. 
Fleek, Brodhead; Henry A. Foster, Appleton. 

General Frederick C. Winkler of Milwaukee died March 22 at 
the age of eighty- three. A native of Germany, General Winkler was 
brought to Milwaukee by his parents when six years of age, and that 

The Society and the State 


city remained his home for more than three-quarters of a century. 
Admitted to the bar in 1859, he had but fairly begun practice when 
he laid his profession aside to enter upon the war for the Union. He 
rose to the rank of colonel of the Twenty-sixth Wisconsin and at the 
close of the war was brevetted brigadier-general for meritorious ser\'ice. 
Returning to Milwaukee and his law practice, General Winkler was for 
half a century one of the foremost attorneys of Wisconsin. He witnessed 
the growth of Milwaukee from a small town to a city of almost half a 
million, and in that growth he bore an active and honorable part. He 
was publicly characterized by Theodore Roosevelt, not long before that 
great American's death, as "a man whom I have always considered, 
a model for me and my sons to follow as an American citizen of the 
highest and best type." General Winkler was an old-time member of 
the State Historical Society. 

Charles McCarthy, head of the Legislative Reference Library of 
Wisconsin, died untimely in Arizona, March 26, 1921. His career was 
of the picturesque, impossible sort that we are prone to hail as typically 
American. The son of poor Irish immigrants, in youth he was appren- 
ticed to a shoemaker. Disliking the trade, he ran away to sea and 
served a term as cabin boy on a schooner. The books he found in the 
cabin on the long voyage so whetted his ambition for an education 
that at its close he presented himself at Brown University with a reciuest 
for admission. But the university's scheme of things made no provision 
for one so irregularly prepared as the runaway cabin boy, and the request 
was refused. A direct appeal to the president of the university brought 
about a reconsideration and an arrangement whereby McCarthy was 
admitted. The penniless youth, working nights to provide the means 
of existence, soon became one of the most brilliant athletes in the 
history of the university. The character of his intellectual achievement 
is sufficiently indicated in the fact that less than twenty years after his 
first discouraging interview with the authorities at Brown, the univer- 
sity called him back to bestow upon him the honorary degree of Doctor 
of Literature. 

Dr. McCarthy's real life work was performed at Madison, whitlior 
he came in 1899 to study in the University. He became director of the 
Legislative Reference Library in 1901, in which position ho continued 
until his death. So real a need did this institution fill in the ]iracti(\\l 
workings of American government, that it has now become a common- 
place throughout the nation. When America entered the Groat War. 
the splendid showing which Wisconsin was enabled to niako in that 
struggle was due in no small measure to the fertile brain and driving 
enthusiasm of Dr. McCarthy. Drafted into the national sorvioo. ho 
served for many months as personal aid to Mr. Hoover in tho Kood 
Administration. At the conclusion of this service ho rotnrnod t<i Madi- 
son, with health undermined, to resume tho intorrnptod duties of the 
Reference Library. His career in Wisconsin, like his ])orsonahty, was 
unique. The place he has vacated will not easily be filled. 


Survey of Historical Activities 

Although his life work lay in another field, Dr. McCarthy possessed 
historical talent of a high order. He was a diligent collector of data in 
fields seemingly far removed from his regular work. Thus, he was a 
careful student of the race problem in America, and accumulated a 
large amount of data bearing on this subject. He was for many years 
a member of the State Historical Society. 

The Department of Historical Research in the Carnegie Institution 
of Washington is collecting the material for an edition, in several 
volumes, of the correspondence of Andrew Jackson, to be edited by 
Professor John S. Bassett of Smith College, Jackson's biographer. All 
persons who possess letters of General Jackson or important letters to 
him, or who know where there are collections of his correspondence, or 
even single letters, would confer a favor by writing to Dr. J. F. Jameson, 
director of the department named, 1140 Woodward Building, Washing- 
ton, D. C. 


The Society has recently come into possession of the diaries o 
Mrs. Jane B. Kelly of Dane County, extending in time from 1866 to 
1898 with only a few omissions. These little volumes record the life 
of a plain country woman, whose days were made up of hard work, 
who was often tired, and frequently anxious about her family and friends. 
The writer was a woman of deep piety and real religious experience; the 
quarterly meetings of the Methodist Church to which she belonged were 
times of refreshment for her spirit. Later in life she attended the 
Monona Assembly, heard the concerts and lectures there given, and 
gives her impressions of lecturers like Neal Dow, Frances Willard, 
Schuyler Colfax, and others. From these diaries we may learn the 
routine of life for women on a farm fifty years ago. The prices of farm 
products and clothing may also be garnered from these volumes. Best 
of all they record the home life of true and virtuous people of the middle 
class that rear children to strengthen all that is valuable in the civiliza- 
tion of our community and state. 

Wisconsin. By J. F. A. Pyre. New York. Oxford University Press, 
American Branch. 1920. 419p. 

The University of Wisconsin is doubly the child of fortune: First, 
in having so significant a history to narrate and interpret; and second, 
in having a historian who is equal to the requirements which that history 
imposes upon its narrator and interpreter. Professor Pyre has produced 
a real book — a book which combines in an uncommon degree accurate, 
painstaking research, sound reflection, insight, and artistic treatment. 
These qualities should place the work among the permanent possessions 
of historical literature along with Thwaites's Wisconsin and Turner's 
Rise of the New West, to mention only two of the books which have 
grown out of this fruitful historical soil. 

The Society and the State 


Professor Pyre arranges his material under twelve chapter heads, 
as follows: 1. The State; 2. Anniversaries and Origins; 3. The Town 
and the Campus; 4. The Days of the Chancellors; 5. Bucolics; 6. War 
Times; 7. The New Era; 8. John Bascom; 9. Growing Up;' 10. To- 
wards a University; 11. Student Life; 12. Under Van Hise. There are 
two brief appendixes, relating the one to attendance from 1900 to 1918, 
the other to the University buildings; and an excellent index. The 
illustrations, which number only thirteen, are carefully chosen, well 
executed, and so aptly distributed as not merely to confirm but to 
enhance the impression of good taste and artistry which per\^ades the 

A son of Wisconsin pioneers, the author can sympathize with the * 
bustling, optimistic, enterprising spirit of the people and the some- 
what narrow, ungenerous opportunities of the pioneer age. But it 
would be hard to find, in equal space, a better historical interpreta- 
tion of the society which created the University, for which the 
University wrought, between which and the institution, in the 
course of a "parallel development, there has been so marked an 
interplay and reciprocity of influences. It was a society, says the 
author, in which "not only did everyone work, but almost ever^^one 
worked with his hands and almost everyone worked for himself," a true 
characterization which has large significance for the story that follows. 

In his discussion of the historical origins of the State University, 
the land grant policy, the management of the University lands, the 
growth of the sentiment of state responsibility for the institution, and 
the comparative educational policies of Wisconsin and other western 
states, the author reflects the extent and thoroughness of his research. 
His familiarity with general educational and social history impresses a 
quality of intelligence upon every page and paragraph of the book. 

But there are some high lights: Among these I presume most 
readers would agree in selecting for special commendation the character- 
izations of Bascom and of Van Hise. The early chancellors, Lathrop, 
Chadbourne, the unfortunate Twombly are well done notwithstanding 
the paucity of data the author had to work from. If his brief antl not 
too sympathetic disposal of Barnard hints a doubt whether the author 
really understood that distinguished educator, one is quickly reminded 
that, after all, this treatment throws his chancellorship in proper 
perspective so far as its influence on the history of the University is 
concerned. That is one secret of the author's success. It is partly 
because he makes his portraits of Bascom and Van Hise fit so perfectly 
into the niches these presidents carved for themselves in the University 
not built with hands that they appear so admirable. In this book the 
artist always charms; but artistry is only one of its excellencies. 'Fhc 
essay on Bascom, for instance, is a brilliant exercise in interpretative 
biography; and the same can be said, though with s(iine\vhat duninishetl 
confidence, of the essay on Van Hise. Chamberlin and Adams, less 
noteworthy for the results they achieved, occupy a correspondm^ly 
lower plane in the reader's consciousness though each is ]>ainti\i for us 
in true and strong colors. 


Survey of Historical Activities 

Thus far we have been speaking of qualities in this book which 
will appeal to readers of every class. But it has another outstanding 
excellence in that it also satisfies so fully the desire for minute local 
information on the part of the thousands of graduates and students of 
the University. The evolution of the campus is traced step by step, 
from the purchase of the Vanderpoel tract and the erection of South 
Hall to the recent acquisitions of land along the lake shore, beyond 
University Bay, and the erection of the Home Economics and Univer- 
sity Extension Building. The facts are so inwoven in the narrative as 
not to vitiate the literary plan of the work or oppress the reader who 
may be a stranger to the "Hill." If in this the author manifests his love 
of beauty in landscapes and his appreciation of taste in architecture, 
he evinces none the less a shrewd enough interest in the purely business 
aspects of this material development to satisfy the most exacting 

In the case of a book like this one, whose dimensions and scope 
were probably fixed in advance, a criticism of the contents on the score 
of incompleteness may be unfair. The author was obliged perforce to 
omit many interesting subjects for want of space. The only question 
between the reviewer and the author is whether some matters are so 
important that space ought to have been found for them even if it 
became necessary to treat some of the included subjects more summa- 

I think there are two, and perhaps three, subjects that deserved 
space at any reasonable cost. First among these is a study of the 
student constituency of the old college under the early chancellors 
Who were those men? Were they sons of ministers, doctors, lawyers, 
farmers, merchants? What was their social and intellectual heritage, 
what the immediate environments from which they came? And what 
of the early fitting schools and the preceptors who had charge of these 
youths? A local study of that sort would have great significance for 
the history of higher education generally as well as for the history of 
Wisconsin's state university. 

One would be grateful, also, for a few pages more on the evolution 
of the public educational system, especially the high school, upon which 
the growth from college to university, so far as constituency goes, really 
pivots. And, corresponding to this outside influence, a study of the 
work of more of the great teachers and scholars of the institution in its 
several periods would obviously be desirable. Mr. Pyre of course 
recognizes that chancellors and presidents do not, of themselves, make 
a university, but his plan of treatment tempts him into a somewhat 
exclusive emphasis upon the policies and performances of these to the 
neglect of others who wrought perhaps quite as effectively. No one 
who was familiar with the University of Wisconsin during its period 
of rapid expansion, say the last forty or forty-five years, will deny that 
it owes as much to two of its deans. Dean Birge (now president) and 
Dean Henry, as it owes to its presidents. I suspect Mr. Pyre believes 
that. But it may be questioned if the uninitiated reader would gain 
that impression from his book. 

The Wider Field 


Still less would the general reader gain an adequate notion of the 
process by which the scholarly, intellectual life of the institution was 
gradually enriched through the contributions of a series of great teachers 
and scholars. Some of these are sketched for him in a delightful manner, 
as, for example, Dr. Stearns and his Socratic method. But these 
sketches are all too few and the book seems to lack a definite purpose to 
reveal the process of inner development in a systematic way, though, to 
be sure, much of this is presented incidentally. 

It is easy for one who is familiar with the type of quiet scholar and 
teacher to appreciate with what emotions Professor Pyre reacted to the 
"hideous racket" made by the new extension movement. The wonder - 
is that such a man was able to deal with this movement, indeed with the 
Van Hise regime generally, in a spirit of fairness and impartiality. 
This Professor Pyre does, though of course there will be two opinions 
on the question whether or not it was possible for him to do full justice 
to the Van Hise policies about which he permits himself so many doubts. 

Joseph Schafer 

our contributors 

General Charles King (^*Ilufus King: Soldier, Editor, and States- 
man"), son of the pioneer whose career he sketches, became a resident 
of the Badger State in 1845. A soldier by profession, he has won wide- 
spread renown by his use of the pen. 

Laurence M. Larson (**The Kensington Rune Stone") is a professor 
of history in the University of Illinois and an authority of high standing 
in the field of Scandinavian history. 

John S. Roeseler ("The Evangelical Association of Lomira Cir- 
cuit") has written much upon the history of this, his native locality. 
For a quarter of a century after his graduation from the University of 
Wisconsin Mr. Roeseler was engaged in public school work as principal 
or superintendent at different points in the state. 

Louise P. Kellogg (**The First Missionary in Wisconsin") is senior 
research associate of the State Historical Society. In the present study 
she presents certain new conclusions concerning the Wisconsin career 
of Father Menard. 

W. A. Titus (**Two Graves in a Rural Wisconsin Cemetery") of 
Fond du Lac has been a frequent contributor to the columns of this 


The Illinois Country, 1673-1818. By Clarence W. Alvonl. |(\Mitrnnial 
History of Illinois, Vol. L] (Springfield: Illinois Centennial Com- 
mission. 192 XX, 524p.) 

In the March, 1920 issue of this magazine was given somr art ount 
of the Centennial History of Illinois, together with reviews of thnn; 
of the volumes in the series. The following review of the initial volnnic 


Survey of Historical Activities 

is reprinted by permission of the ^mmcan if is^oricaZEmeii; for January, 

This is a nptable volume, the capstone to a notable historical career. 
A decade and a half ago the Illinois Historical Collections comprised a 
single book of miscellaneous source material brought together on the 
politician's principle of giving "the several sections of the state a fair 
share of representation in the volume." Professor Alvord was called 
to the editorship, and from his busy oflfice has flowed year after year 
one of the most prolific and fruitful streams known to American histori- 
cal scholarship. More recently, as editor-in-chief of the Illinois Centen- 
nial Publications, he has planned and supervised the production of a 
comprehensive history of the state. The volume before us, although the 
last to come from the press, is the first of the Centennial History. 
It is written by the editor-in-chief, a historian of note working in his own 
special field and with the resources of a great commonwealth at his 
command, and the reader rightly expects it to be of highest scholarly ex- 
cellence and workmanship. 

Nor, in the main, is this expectation disappointed. In twenty-one 
chapters and five hundred pages Professor Alvord portrays the history 
of the Illinois country with a breadth of outlook, an assured familiarity, 
and a wealth of detail unapproached hitherto in the literature of the 
subject. The theme of the book may be briefly summarized as the story 
of the planting of a French colony in the heart of the continent; the long 
contest with the English for supremacy in America, with the Illinois 
country occuping the pivotal position in the French scheme of empire; 
the Anglo-Saxon triumph, with the subsequent revolt of the colonies 
from the mother country; and the beginnings, civil and political, of 
American society in Illinois. The telling of this story involves a wide 
sweep of history, and across the pages of the volume march a varied 
array of characters great and small — from Marquette, the missionary, 
yearning for martyrdom in the cause of Christ, or La Salle, the "first 
promoter of big business in the West," to John Dodge of infamous 
memory, as choice a rascal as ever scuttled a ship or throttled the 
liberties of a people. 

To the resident of Illinois this book will constitute a never-failing 
source of inspiration and delight, providing him as it does with a historic 
past as dignified and thrilling and almost as ancient as any common- 
wealth along the Atlantic seaboard can boast. To the thoughtful 
scholar it offers much food for reflection, although he will not acquiesce, 
necessarily, in all the positions taken by the author. Some, we feel 
sure, will think that in Professor Alvord the economic interpretation of 
history finds a too-thoroughgoing exponent. Some will question the 
sweeping character of certain of his broad generalizations. For example, 
we note the explanation given (on pages 84-86) of the Iroquois warfare 
upon the tribes of the interior. To Professor Alvord a single simple 
factor explains these wars — the desire of the Iroquois to control as 
middlemen the trade of the interior tribes with the whites. No doubt 
this was an important cause of the wars, but the demonstration that it 
was the only one is yet to be made. Survivors of the New England 

The Wider Field 


school of historians (if any such there be) will be disposed to question 
the perspective of the author in evaluating these wars. "The [Iroquois] 
attack of 1680," he says, "marks the opening campaign of almost a 
hundred years of warfare for dominion over the West," and he finds 
that the Iroquois themselves were stirred up by the English, who, unable 
to strike directly at the French for the control of the Mississippi Valley, 
struck at them through their allies, the Iroquois. There is a measure 
of truth in all this, of course; the Iroquois had not struck at the French 
in the West before 1680 because until La Salle came into Illinois there 
were none there to strike at; but are not these attacks of the Iroquois in 
the West more correctly to be regarded in the light of an extension 
of that conflict between them and the French w^hich began with the 
founding of New France by Champlain? 

The decrees of the paternalistic government which France estab- 
lished in the American wilderness produced, oftentimes, strange and 
unanticipated consequences. In 1673 the government, intent on 
curbing the coureurs de bois, forbade the people on pain of their lives 
to go into the woods for twenty-four hours without permission, and 
three years later all trading permits were prohibited. "The only effect 
was to make a large number of Frenchmen outlaws in the West, where 
they were supported by their friends and were able to divert the fur 
trade to the British at Albany" (p. 1%). Again, we learn (p. 107) that 
the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 entailed confusion upon 
the fur trade of Canada, since "many members of [the Huguenot] sect, 
operating hat factories in Normandy, were forced to leave France, thus 
impairing an industry which absorbed much of the output of Canada." 
Still more remarkable was the dilemma encountered by the government 
in its efforts at preventing the debauchery of the Indians by the trade 
in brandy. "If the Indians did not drink French brandy they would 
carry their furs to Albany and purchase English rum — equally demoral- 
izing in this world; further, mixed with the English intoxicant, the 
children of the forest would imbibe Protestant heresy and endanger 
their souls for eternity" (p. 71). But the citizen of democratic America 
is humiliated to find that the lot of the French dwellers of Illinois for 
many years after the blessings of democracy were forced upon tlicni 
by George Rogers Clark was distinctly worse than it had been under 
the old autocratic regime. The story of the "Period of the City States" 
(pp. 358-78) is one of the strangest and most chastening in American 
annals. The picture drawn by Father Gibault of conditions in the 
Illinois (p. 366) fairly rivals the most turbulent scenes of the Middle 

The physical appearance of the book is pleasing but by no means 
distinguished. The same may be said of its literary style, although 
in this respect the opening paragraphs are of a high order of excellcnco, 
and flashes of brilliant writing appear here and tliere throiigliout tlic 
volume. Bristling with details as it does, the commission of some 
positive errors of statement might ])erhaps be taken for granted, l he 
following items in fields with which the reviewer chances to be somewhat 
familiar may be noted: The portrait ascribed to Manjuette i,front>s- 


Survey of Historical Activities 

piece) is not known to be of him, and the year of his founding the 
Illinois mission is indicated correctly on page 67 but incorrectly on page 
132. The battle of Fallen Timbers was fought on August 20, 1794 
instead of August 18 (p. 399). The builder of Fort Dearborn was 
Captain John Whistler, father of Colonel William Whistler (p. 414). 
It is incorrect to say that Harrison led "an army of militia" against 
Tippecanoe (p. 438); the backbone of his army was Colonel Boyd*s 
Fourth United States Infantry. Hull surrendered Detroit on August 
16, instead of the day before, and his order for the evacuation of Fort 
Dearborn was received at that place August 9, instead of August 8 
(p. 440). There was no United States factory at Prairie du Chien prior 
to the War of 1812 (p. 451). But such errors of detail are of trivial 
importance and do not seriously impair the character of Professor 
Alvord's achievement. We are indebted to him for the first compre- 
hensive, authoritative account of the century and a half of Illinois 
history which antedates the creation of the present commonwealth. 
That commonwealth could ill afford to dispense with his services. 



Abel, Henry I., Geographical, Geolog- 
ical, and Statistical Chart, 38. 

Abraham, Dr. Henry H., obituary, 360. 

Adams, Andy, in Civil War, 84, 86. 

Adams, Charles Francis, candidate for 
presidential nomination, 299. 

Adams, Charles Kendall, president of 
the University of Wisconsin, 463. 

Adams, Orlando, in the Civil War, 214, 
325, 336; death, 440. 

Ager, Waldemar, Oberst Heg og hans 
Gutter, 154, 156-59, 162-63; other 
writings, 156. 

Agricultural Society. See Wisconsin 
State Agricultural Society. 

Airhart, John, Napoleonic soldier, 426, 

Airhart, Mrs. Mary, in Fond du Lac 

County, 429. 
Albany (N. Y.), engineers at, 371-72; 

a Dutch settlement, 417 ; fur trade 

at 467. 

Albany (N. Y.) Evening Journal, edi- 
tor, 372. 

Albert Lea (Minn.), resident, 295. 
Albrecht, Jacob, founder of sect, 392. 
Alexander, Col. Jesse I., in the Civil 

War, 159. 
Allen, Delos, in the Civil War, 431. 
Allen, William C, letters, 229. 
Alma, a river port, 81, 83, 90; resident, 


Alma Journal, cited, 327-28, 441, 456. 
Almoraz (Spain), battle of, 427. 
Alsace, natives of, 426, 429, 458. 
Alvord, Clarence W., History of Illinois, 

reviewed, 465-68. 
American Fur Company, at Mackinac, 

267-68, 270; at Green Bay, 276. 
American Historical Review, article 

reprinted from, 466. 
American Staff College, in France, 9. 
Amidon, Henry, Wisconsin pioneer, 90, 

215, 335. 

Amidon, Myra, in Buffalo County, 452. 
Anderson, Andrew, and the rune stone, 
387, 391. 

Anderson, Bill, in Civil War, 81, 338, 
440, 450. 

Anderson, Rasmus B., translator, 140; 
First Chapter of Norwegian Immi- 
gration, 141-43; on rune stone, 
386-87; comment by, 391. 

Anderson, Major Robert, in Black 
Hawk War, 44. 

"An Historical Museum," by Carl R. 

Fish, 315-21. 
Antonelli, Cardinal, at Rome, 380. 
Appleton, alarm at, 190-91; railway 

terminus, 356. 
Appleton Crescent, cited, 190. 
A-que-en-zee, Chippewa chief, 178-79. 
Archeological acquisitions, 227, 359-60. 
Arena, on Wisconsin River, 42. 
Argonne forest (France), fighting in, 

3, 11-12, 21-25, 245; described, 11, 

17-18; map of, 23. 
Arkansas, surveyor for, 35; in the Civil 

War, 445-47. 
Arhngton (Va.), in the Civil War, 

371-72, 378. 
Armstrong, — , fur trader, 31. 
Arndt, — , German settler, 310. 
Arnold, William A., obituarv, 110. 
"Aroostook War" of 1839, '234. 
Arroia del Molines (Spain), battle at, 


Ashland, topography of, 128; site, 135; 
highway to, 138; railways to, 133, 

Ashland County, Indian reservation in, 

Ashton, Washington, at Superior, 179. 
Astor, John Jacob, fur trader, 267. 
Atkinson, Major C. F., Grant's Cam- 
paign of 1864, 261. 
Auburn (N. Y.), visited, 266. 
Aztalan, prehistoric town, 360. 

Babcock, Bernie, The Soul of Ann Rut- 
ledge, 48. 

Babcock, James, Columbia County resi- 
dent, 457. 

Babcock, Kendric C, Thfi Srandinnrinn 
Element in the United Stntm. 1.50. 

Backc, Siiren, Norwegian emigrant, 
140, 144. 

Bad Axe, battle at, 44, 196-99; view of 

battlcfirld, 196. 
Bax Axe River, affluent of the Missl.-*- 

sijipi, 197. 
Bad River, gap for, 129; trails along. 

133-34, 423; railway. 137. 
Bad Hiver Reservation, for Chi]>prw.i, 


"Badger Bov in Bine: The T^ttrrs of 
Chauneev H. Cooke," 75-1 0<\ 20S- 17. 
.322-44, 4.31-56. 

Baffin IViv. wrecks In. 88«. 

Baker. Charlrs M.. papers, 116-20. 



Baker, Edward Larrabee, donor, 122. 
Ball, — , in Civil War," 92. 
Banzhaff, Rev. J., in Wisconsin, 398. 
Baptists, at Madison, 210. 
Baraboo, cemetery near, 457-58. 
Baraga, Bishop Frederick, missionary, 

Barber, Hiram, Watertown lawyer, 295. 
Barber, J. Allen, Wisconsin land owner, 

Bardon, James, obituary, 225-26. 

Bardsen, Ivar, Norwegian envoy, 
382-83, 387; narrative, 388. 

Barnard, Henry, president of Univer- 
sity of Wisconsin, 463. 

Barnes, Justice John, sketch, 284. 

Barnes, Porter P., recollections of, 112. 

Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, 280. 

Barrows, Gen. Washington, Confed- 
erate prisoner, 220-21. 

Barstow, William H., governor of Wis- 
consin, 120. 

Barth, Rev. — , Watertown pioneer, 290. 

Bartlett, Dr. John K., at Milwaukee, 

Barton, A. O., "Napoleonic Soldiers in 
Wisconsin," 349-54; "The Begin- 
nings of the Norwegian Press," 
cited, 144; "The Old Muskego Set- 
tlement," cited, 141. 

Barton, Indian panic at, 176. 

Bascom, John, president of University 
of Wisconsin, 463. 

Bass Lake, on portage trail, 422. 

Bassett, Prof. John S., edits Jackson 
correspondence, 462. 

"Battle of the Bax Axe," by W. A. 
Titus, 196-99. 

"Battle of Wisconsin Heights," by W. 
A. Titus, 55-58. 

Baye Verte. See Green Bay. 

Bayfield, during Indian panic, 180. 

Bayonne (France), battle of, 428. 

Beadle, Augustus, promoter, 356. 

Bean, Capt. Irving M., provost marshal, 

Bear Lake, trail to, 109. 
Bear Trap River, trail along, 135. 
Beaumont, Mrs. Deborah Green, at 
Mackinac, 269; at Green Bay, 

277- 78; portrait, 280 . 
Beaumont, Israel Green, at Green Bay, 

278- 79; birth, 280. 

Beaumont, Lucretia, birth, 280. 

Beaumont, Miss May, aid acknowl- 
edged, 264. 

Beaumont, Sarah, birth, 280. 
"Beaumont, Dr. William, in Mackinac 
and Wisconsin," by Deborah B. 

Martin, 263-80; portrait, 264; de- 
scribed, 280. 

Beaumont family, ancestry, 263-64. 

Beaumont House, at Green Bay, 278. 

Beaver Dam, panic in, 175; Evangelical 
church at, 398. 

Beaver Dam Argus, cited, 175. 

Bedloe Island (N. Y.), enlistments at, 

Beef River, in Wisconsin, 334. 
Beger, Capt. Charles, in the Civil War, 

Beldenville, alarm at, 181. 
Belfort (France), fighting at, 5, 9. 
Belgians, in Wisconsin, 168. 
Belmont (Mo.), in the Civil War, 

241-45, 252-53. 
Belmont (Wis.), first capital of state, 


Beloit, in Black Hawk War, 44; Lin- 
coln visits, 53-54; physician at, 285. 

Beloit Journal, reports Lincoln's 
speech, 53. 

Bennet Valley, in BufiPalo County, 456. 

Benton, lead mining village, 101. 

Bergen (Norway), and the rune stone, 
383-84, 388. 

Bergh, J. A., Den norsk lutherske 
Kirkes Historie i Amerika, 143. 

Berlin Courant, cited, 186-87. 

Bernhard, Theodore, Watertown pio- 
neer, 291. 

Bertram, Col. Henry, in the Civil War, 

Betts, Clayton, in the World War, 114. 
Bidassoa River, as a boundary, 428. 
Bieber, — , Watertown resident, 298. 
Big Creek, Indians at, 186. 
Billed-Magazin, cited, 140-43. 
Bird, George W., Wisconsin lawyer, 

Birge, Edward A., dean of University 

of Wisconsin, 464. 
Bjornbo, A. A., Cartographia Groen- 

landica, cited, 387. 
Black Creek, tributary to Montreal 

River, 133. 
Black Earth Creek, mouth, 42. 
Black Hawk, treatment of, 55-58, 


Black Hawk War, in southwestern Wis- 
consin, 31-32, 34, 35; effect on 
settlement, 32, 34, 50; Lincoln par- 
ticipates in, 44; battle fields of, 
55-60; 196-99; cholera during, 
277-78; participant, 357. 

Black HiUs, Sioux sent to, 99. 

Black River (Miss.), in the Civil War, 



Black River (Wis.), pineries on, 103; 

Indians near, 186; crossed, 208; 

Huron village at source, 418, 421-24. 
Black River (Douglas County), falls in, 


Black River Falls, Indian alarm at, 

"Black Robes." See Jesuits. 
Black Wolf, builds memorial. 111. 
Blair, E. H., Indian Tribes, cited, 423. 
Blair, Montgomery, postmaster general, 

Blakey, J. S., of Racine County, 112. 
Blanchardville Blade, cited, 112. 
Blank, Elder G. A., in Wisconsin, 

Blefken, Dithmar, Islandia, cited, 388. 

Blegen, Theodore C, "Colonel Hans 
Christian Heg," 140-65; sketch, 235. 

Bliicher, Gebhard L. von, Prussian gen- 
eral, 428. 

Blue Mounds, in Black Hawk War, 32. 

Blue River, tributary of Wisconsin 
River, 28, 34; mines on, 37-38; 
smelter, 101. 

Blue River (village), mining town, 28, 

Bois Brule River, gap for, 129; trail 
along, 136-37; railway, 138. 

Bois de Chauvignon (France), cap- 
tured, 25. 

Bolens, Harry W., journalist, 46-47. 

Bolster, A., in Grant County, 40. 

Bonaparte, Joseph, expelled from 
Spain, 428; refugee, 349. 

Bonaparte, Napoleon. See Napoleon. 

Bono Creek, trail along, 136. 

Bordeaux (France), British soldiers at, 

Borst Valley, in Buffalo County, 323. 
Bostwick Valley, Indian alarm at, 184. 
Boyd, Col. George, Indian agent, 

Boyd, Col. John P., army officer, 468. 
Bracken, Charles, pioneer miner, 34; 

enters land, 35. 
Brackett, Lieut. Joseph W., in the Civil 

War, 340, 455. 
Bracklin, Thomas, pioneer lumberman, 

Bradley, Gaylord, diary, 113-15. 

Bragg, Gen. Braxton, Confederate offi- 
cer, 254, 439, 454. 

Branch, Indian alarm at, 191. 

Bray ton, A. M., letter, 105. 

Brigham, Jerome R., at Milwaukee, 376. 

Brightman, H., proprietor of Sentinel, 

Brill, Max, in Civil War, 82, 431. 

Brillion, Indian alarm at, 189. 

British, in W^ar of 1812, 29; traders 
killed, 29-31; travelers in Wiscon- 
sin, 35-36; in Wisconsin, 457. See 
also Scotch. 

B rochet (Le), Ottawa chief, 421, 

Brodhead, Edward H., engineer, 355. 
Bronson, Frederick, land purchaser, 35. 
Bronson, Isaac, land purchaser, 35. 
Brookfield, conference at, 395. 
Brown, Charles E., of the Historical 

Museum, 317. 
Brown County, Indian reservation in, 

169; Indian alarm, 189; sheriff of, 


Brown University, graduate, 461. 

Browning, Dr. Wil